Polymeric nanospheres fabricated with natural emulsifiers for clinical administration of an anticancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol®)

Si Shen Feng, Li Mu, Bing Hung Chen, Daniel Pack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Paclitaxel (Taxol®) is one of the most effective anticancer drugs found from nature in recent decades, which can treat various cancers including ovarian, breast, brain, colon and lung cancer, and AIDS-related cancer. Due to its low aqueous solubility, adjuvants such as Cremophor EL, which causes serious side effects, have to be used in its administration. Our aim is to develop an alternative delivery system to achieve better therapeutic effects with minimum side effects. Paclitaxel-loaded nanospheres of biodegradable polymers were prepared by an improved solvent extraction/evaporation technique. Phospholipids, cholesterol and vitamins were used to replace traditional chemical emulsifiers to achieve high encapsulation efficiency (EE) and desired release rate of the drug. Nanospheres prepared under various conditions are characterized by the light scattering for size and size distribution, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the atomic force microscopy (AFM) for surface morphology; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) for the physical status of the drug within the polymeric matrix; the zeta-potential measurement for the surface charge properties; and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for the surface chemistry. In-vitro release kinetics were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Best design was pursued to develop a product for cancer chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 31 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by research grants R-279-000-052-112 and R-279-000-077-112, National University of Singapore and Manpower Grant 2001 (for Dr. Mu Li) from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), Singapore. This paper was presented as an invited keynote speech in the International Conference of Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT), 1–5 July 2001, Singapore.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Cancer therapy
  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery
  • Emulsifiers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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