Polyelectrolyte complex (beads) based on N,N,N-trimethyl chitosan/alginate was successful obtained and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were loaded within beads. In vitro cytotoxicity assays using beads/silver nanoparticles (beads/AgNPs) provided results, indicating that this material significantly inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells (Caco-2). In vitro release studies showed that the beads stabilized AgNPs and repressed Ag<sup>0</sup> oxidation under gastric conditions (pH 2.0). On the other hand, at physiological condition (pH 7.4) the beads/AgNPs released 3.3μg of Ag<sup>+</sup> per each beads milligram. These studies showed that the concentration of Ag<sup>+</sup> released (3.3μg) was cytotoxic for the Caco-2 cells and was not cytotoxic on healthy VERO cells. This result opens new perspectives for the manufacture of biomaterials based on beads/AgNPs with anti-tumor properties.
Martins, A. F., Follmann, H. D. M., Monteiro, J. P., Bonafé, E. G., Nocchi, S., Silva, C. T. P., … Muniz, E. C. (2015). Polyelectrolyte complex containing silver nanoparticles with antitumor property on Caco-2 colon cancer cells. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 79, 748–755. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.05.036