AAPS PharmSciTech

, 20:48 | Cite as

Bacterial Ghosts Carrying 5-Fluorouracil: A Novel Biological Carrier for Targeting Colorectal Cancer

  • Abdullah M. E. Youssof
  • Fars K. Alanazi
  • Mounir M. Salem-Bekhit
  • Faiyaz Shakeel
  • Nazrul HaqEmail author
Research Article


Bacterial ghosts (BGs) are non-deformed bacterial cell envelopes that possess undamaged external configurations for precise attachment to different cells of the human body. The Escherichia coli BGs were successfully produced using a modified sponge-like reduced protocol and characterized by SEM. Four different concentrations of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) were used to study the impact on the “ghosts” cell wall. 5-FU was then loaded into the BGs and the loading capacity (LC %) and entrapment efficiency (EE %) were determined and were found to be 38.3 ± 0.8 and 76.6 ± 0.8, respectively. The in vitro release studies were conducted in dialysis bags over a time period of 16 days and the accumulative 5-FU released (%) was calculated. Overall, 69.2% of the ghost-associated 5-FU was released from the BGs and release from the E. coli ghosts is governed by non-Fickian diffusion. The Caco-2 cell line was used to investigate the cytotoxicity of 5-FU-loaded BGs.


targeting 5-fluorouracil bacterial ghost colorectal cancer cytotoxicity 



This project was financially supported by King Saud University, Vice Deanship of Research Chairs, Kayyali Chair for Pharmaceutical industry, through the Grant No. MS-2018.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdullah M. E. Youssof
    • 1
  • Fars K. Alanazi
    • 1
  • Mounir M. Salem-Bekhit
    • 1
    • 2
  • Faiyaz Shakeel
    • 1
  • Nazrul Haq
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Kayyali Chair for Pharmaceutical Industry, Department of Pharmaceutics, College of PharmacyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of PharmacyAl-Azhar UniversityCairoEgypt

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