Nanosalina: A Tale of Saline-Loving Algae from the Lake's Agony to Cancer Therapy

Fatemeh Ostadhossein, Santosh K. Misra, Aaron S. Schwartz-Duval, Brajendra K. Sharma, Dipanjan Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The nanoparticles (NPs) that contain the therapeutic agent within themselves without further modifications can be coined as "self-therapeutic" NPs. The development of these agents especially when derived from natural resources can lead to a paradigm shift in the field of cancer nanotechnology as they can immensely facilitate the complex chemistry procedures and the follow up biological complications. Herein, we demonstrate that inherently therapeutic NPs "integrating" β-carotene can be synthesized from Dunaliella salina microalgae in a single step without complicated chemistry. The facile synthesis involved microwave irradiation of aqueous suspension of algae which resulted in water dispersible NPs with hydrodynamic diameter of ∼80 nm. Subsequently, extensive physiochemical characterizations were performed to confirm the integrity of the particles. The pro-oxidant activities of the integrated β-carotene were triggered by photoexcitation under UV lamp (362 nm). It was demonstrated that after UV exposure, the C32 human melanoma cells incubated with NPs experienced extensive cell death as opposed to nonilluminated samples. Further cellular analysis revealed that the significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) and in particular singlet oxygen were responsible for the cells' damage while the mode of cell death was dominated by apoptosis. Moreover, detailed endocytic inhibition studies specified that UV exposure affected NPs' cellular uptake mechanism. These inherently therapeutic NPs can open new avenues for melanoma cancer treatment via ROS generation in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11528-11536
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 5 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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