In vitro cytotoxicity assay of D-limonene niosomes: an efficient nano-carrier for enhancing solubility of plant-extracted agents

Mohammad Reza Hajizadeh , Haniyeh Maleki, Mahmood Barani, Mohammad Ali Fahmidehkar, Mehdi Mahmoodi, Masoud Torkzadeh-Mahani


The low solubility of the plant-extracted agent like D-limonene in cancer therapy is a critical problem. In this study, we prepared D-limonene-loaded niosomes (D-limonene/Nio) for cancer therapy through in vitro cytotoxicity assay of HepG2, MCF-7, and A549 cell lines. The niosomal formulation was prepared by film hydration technique with Span® 40: Tween® 40: cholesterol (35:35:30 molar ratio) and characterized for vesicle distribution size, morphology, entrapment efficiency (EE%), and in vitro release behaviour.  The obtained niosomes showed a nanometric size and spherical morphology with EE% about 87 ± 1.8%. Remarkably prolonged release of D-limonene from niosomes compared to free D-limonene observed. The loaded formulation showed significantly enhanced cytotoxic activity with all three cancer cell lines (HepG2, Macf-7 and A549) at the concentration of 20 µM. These results indicated that niosome loaded with phytochemicals can be a promising nano-carrier for cancer therapy applications.


Cancer therapy; D-limonene; Niosome; Solubility.

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