Delivery of retinoic acid to LNCap human prostate cancer cells using solid lipid nanoparticles

Mushfiq H. Akanda, Rajeev Rai, Ian J. Slipper, Babur Z. Chowdhry, Dimitrios Lamprou, Giulia Getti, Dennis Douroumis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In this study retinoic acid (RTA) loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) were optimized by tuning the process parameters (pressure/temperature) and using different lipids to develop nanodispersions with enhanced anticancer activity. The RTA-SLN dispersions were produced by high-pressure homogenization and characterized in terms of particle size, zeta potential, drug entrapment efficiency, stability, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and in vitro drug release. Thermal and X-ray analysis showed the RTA to be in the amorphous state, whilst microscopic images revealed a spherical shape and uniform particle size distribution of the nanoparticles. Anticancer efficiency was evaluated by incubating RTA-SLNs with human prostate cancer (LNCap) cells, which demonstrated reduced cell viability with increased drug concentrations (9.53% at 200 ug/ml) while blank SLNs displayed negligible cytotoxicity. The cellular uptake of SLN showed localization within the cytoplasm of cells and flow cytometry analysis indicated an increase in the fraction of cells expressing early apoptotic markers, suggesting that the RTA loaded SLNs are able to induce apoptosis in LNCap cells. The RTA-SLN dispersions have the potential to be used for prostate anticancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Early online date19 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Flow cytometry
  • Key words Retinoic acid
  • Prostate cancer
  • Solid lipid nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Medicine(all)


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