Emulsion-core and polyelectrolyte-shell nanocapsules: biocompatibility and neuroprotection against SH-SY5Y cells

  • Marek Piotrowski
  • Krzysztof Szczepanowicz
  • Danuta Jantas
  • Monika Leśkiewicz
  • Władysław Lasoń
  • Piotr Warszyński
Research Paper


The emulsion-core and polyelectrolyte-coated nanocapsules, designed as water-insoluble neuroprotective drug delivery system, were synthesized using layer-by-layer saturation method. The isopropyl myristate was used as oil phase and docusate sodium salt as emulsifier. For the polyelectrolyte shell preparation, synthetic polyelectrolytes, cationic (PDADMAC, PAH, and PLL) and anionic (PGA) were used. The particle size and zeta potential of nanocapsules were characterized by the dynamic light scattering. The average size of synthesized nanocapsules ranged from ~80 to ~100 nm. Zeta potential values ranged from less than approximately −30 mV for the polyanion layers to greater than approximately +30 mV for the polycation layers. Biocompatibilities of the synthesized nanocarriers were evaluated against SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells using various biochemical assays. The results obtained show that synthesized nanocapsules coated with PLL and PGA were nontoxic to SH-SY5Y cells, and they were used as nanocarriers for model neuroprotective drug (a calpain inhibitor MDL 28170). The neuroprotective action of the encapsulated MDL 28170 against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress cytotoxicity was evaluated in the same cell line. The results showed that nanoencapsulated form of MDL 28170 were biocompatible and protected SH-SY5Y cells against the H2O2 (0.5 mM/24 h)-induced damage in 20–40 times lower concentrations than those of the same drug added directly to the culture medium. These data suggest that the nanoscale carriers of neuroprotective drugs might serve as novel promising therapeutic agents for oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative processes.


Nanoencapsulation Layer-by-layer Polyelectrolytes Cytotoxicity Calpain inhibitor-MDL 28170 Oxidative stress 



This study was co-financed by the Interdisciplinary PhD Studies: “Molecular sciences for medicine” (co-financed by the European Social Fund within the Human Capital Operational Programme); the Polish National Science Centre, grant no. DEC-2011/03/N/ST5/04808; and the Marian Smoluchowski Krakow Research Consortium, a leading National Research Centre KNOW, supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Conflict of interest

The author reports no conflicts of interest in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marek Piotrowski
    • 1
  • Krzysztof Szczepanowicz
    • 1
  • Danuta Jantas
    • 2
  • Monika Leśkiewicz
    • 2
  • Władysław Lasoń
    • 2
  • Piotr Warszyński
    • 1
  1. 1.Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface ChemistryPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Institute of PharmacologyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland

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