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Formulation, Characterization and In vitro Cytotoxicity of 5-Fluorouracil Loaded Polymeric Electrospun Nanofibers for the Treatment of Skin Cancer

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 2 ]


Gayatri Patel* and Bindu K.N. Yadav   Pages 114 - 128 ( 15 )


Background: The purpose of this study was to formulate, characterize and conduct in vitro cytotoxicity of 5-fluorouracil loaded polymeric electrospun nanofibers for the treatment of skin cancer. The patents on electrospun nanofibers (US9393216B2), (US14146252), (WO2015003155A1) etc. helped in the selection of polymers and method for the preparation of nanofibers.

Methods: In the present study, the fabrication of nanofibers was done using a blend of chitosan with polyvinyl alcohol and processed using the electrospinning technique. 5-fluorouracil with known chemotherapeutic potential in the treatment of skin cancer was used as a drug carrier. 24-1 fractional factorial screening design was employed to study the effect of independent variables like the concentration of the polymeric solution, applied voltage (kV), distance (cm), flow rate (ml / hr) on dependent variables like % entrapment efficiency and fiber diameter.

Results: Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize fiber diameter and morphology. Results showed that the fiber diameter of all batches was found in the range of 100-200 nm. The optimized batch results showed the fiber diameter of 162.7 nm with uniform fibers. The tensile strength obtained was 190±37 Mpa. Further in vitro and ex vivo drug release profile suggested a controlled release mechanism for an extended period of 24 hr. The 5-fluorouracil loaded electrospun nanofibers were found to decrease cell viability up to ≥50% over 24 hr, with the number of cells dropping by ~ 10% over 48 hr. As the cell viability was affected by the release of 5-fluorouracil, we believe that electrospun nanofibers are a promising drug delivery system for the treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) skin cancer.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate the possibility of delivering 5-Fluorouracil loaded electrospun nanofiber to skin with enhanced encapsulation efficiency indicating the effectiveness of the formulation for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma type of skin cancer.


Skin cancer, biopolymer, electrospinning, nanofibers, morphology, drug delivery, patents.


Ramanbhai Patel College of Pharmacy, Charotar University of Science Technology, Changa, Anand, Gujarat, Ramanbhai Patel College of Pharmacy, Charotar University of Science Technology, Changa, Anand, Gujarat

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