Synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of the anticancer properties of pH-responsive carvacrol-zinc oxide quantum dots on breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231)


Cell Biochem Funct. 2024 Jun;42(4):e4062. doi: 10.1002/cbf.4062.


Since most solid tumors have a low pH value, a pH-responsive drug delivery system may offer a broad method for tumor-targeting treatment. The present study is used to analyze the anticancer activity of carvacrol-zinc oxide quantum dots (CVC-ZnO QDs) against breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231). CVC-ZnO QDs demonstrate pH responsive and are specifically released within the acidic pH tumor microenvironment. This property enables targeted drug delivery exclusively to cancer cells while minimizing the impact on normal cells. To the synthesized ZnO QDs, the CVC was loaded and then examined by X-ray diffraction, ultraviolet-visible, Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray, and transmission electron microscopy. For up to 20 h, CVC release was examined in different pH-buffered solutions. The results showed that carvacrol release was stable in an acidic pH solution. Further, cytotoxicity assay, antioxidant, and lipid peroxidation activity, reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial membrane potential, nuclear damage, and the ability of CVC-ZnO QDs to cause apoptosis were all examined. Apoptosis markers such as Bcl2, Bax, caspase-3, and caspase-9, were also studied. In conclusion, the CVC-ZnO QDs destabilized the MDA-MB-231cells under its acidic tumor microenvironment and regulated apoptosis.

PMID:38807490 | DOI:10.1002/cbf.4062