A hydrophobic starch polymer for nanoparticle-mediated delivery of docetaxel

A hydrophobic starch derivative is used for safe and enhanced delivery of anticancer agents. The synthesis and characterization of propyl starch with a controlled degree of substitution to modulate the release of the encapsulated hydrophobic drug is reported. The application of this polymer for formulating nanoparticles of docetaxel, an anti-cancer agent effective against numerous types of cancers but possessing intrinsic formulation difficulties is described. The solvent emulsification/diffusion technique is used and the synthesis is optimized with respect to several formulation parameters. Uptake studies with these nanoparticles indicate their enhanced internalization by the cancerous cells and their peri-nuclear localization.