Background and importance One of the most common cancers unique to women is cervical carcinoma which is caused by the human papillomavirus. Cisplatin is primarily indicated in the chemotherapeutic treatment of this cancer type, administered intravenously either as monotherapy or in combination with other antineoplastic agents. Due to lack of target tissue specificity and high drug toxicity, there are several side effects to the application of the drug. Furthermore, being given intravenously, several cases of extravasation have been reported, causing mild to severe degree of tissue damage. Silica–gelatin hybrid aerogels have been shown to be biodegradable and biocompatible with tissue cells and are promising platforms for local and non-invasive drug delivery.
Aim and objectives Our aim is to improve the chemotherapeutic approach by developing a model that locally delivers cisplatin to the cervix by using mucoadhesive aerogel microparticles which are further incorporated into suppositories and inserted intravaginally for subsequent release of cisplatin in a modified, controlled-release manner, thereby reducing toxic doses and extravasation caused by IV administration.
Material and methods The drug carrier vehicle was developed using the sol-gel method, including functionalisation with cisplatin and supercritical drying. In vitro cytotoxicity studies were carried out against HeLa cells and analysed via MTT assay.
Results The resulting vehicles are mesoporous containing 10–15 mg/g cisplatin in coordination bonds. The drug is predicted to be released on a pH responsive profile. Pristine particles showed 100% cell viability while cytotoxicity results showed that 1 mg/mL of the functionalised vehicle had the same antiproliferative effect as 0.5 µg/mL free cisplatin.
Conclusion and relevance The aerogel microparticles are biocompatible with tissue models and appear safe for administration. Drug loading into these particles is expected to reduce the dosing of free cisplatin, hence reducing toxicity as well as being cost-beneficial. Extravasation could be prevented by this therapeutic approach and patients could self-administer them when formulated in suppositories, thereby reducing the number of inpatients in hospitals.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest