Glycyrrhetinic Acid-Cyclodextrin Grafted Pullulan Nanoparticles Loaded Doxorubicin as a Liver Targeted Delivery Carrier


In this work, glycyrrhetinic acid (GA)-β-cyclodextrin grafted pullulan (GCDPu) was synthesized and used to form nanoparticles for liver-specific drug delivery. GCDPu was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). The self-aggregated nanoparticles (GCDPu NPs) with a spherical dimension of about 200 nm were prepared and analyzed by dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Doxorubicin (DOX) was selected as an anti-cancer model drug, and the drug-loaded GCDPu NPs were prepared by the emulsion solvent evaporation method. Moreover, the drug loading efficiency (LE%) and loading content (LC%) were determined. Slow DOX release from DOX/GCDPu NPs was confirmed. GCDPu NPs were cytocompatible with Bel-7404 cells and showed high cellular uptake according to the MTT assay, confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) and flow cytometry (FCM) results. Compared with free DOX, DOX/GCDPu NPs have exhibited a longer half-life time (t1/2) and a larger area-under-the-curve (AUC). GCDPu NPs significantly increased DOX contents in the liver and decreased in heart and kidney. Furthermore, DOX/GCDPu NPs exhibited a better anticancer therapeutic effect on tumor-bearing mice. These findings suggest that GCDPu can serve a liver-specific drug delivery system.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province, Grant C2021201026

Keywords and Phrases

Glycyrrhetinic acid-modified β-cyclodextrin pullulan; Liver cancer; Self-aggregated nanoparticle; Targeted therapy

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1879-0003; 0141-8130

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2022

PubMed ID