Biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles for enhancement of anti-cancer activities of phytochemicals

Chuan Li, Jia Zhang, Yu Jiao Zu, Shu Fang Nie, Jun Cao, Qian Wang, Shao Ping Nie, Ze Yuan Deng, Ming Yong Xie, Shu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Many phytochemicals show promise in cancer prevention and treatment, but their low aqueous solubility, poor stability, unfavorable bioavailability, and low target specificity make administering them at therapeutic doses unrealistic. This is particularly true for (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol, and genistein. There is an increasing interest in developing novel delivery strategies for these natural products. Liposomes, micelles, nanoemulsions, solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers and poly (lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles are biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles. Those nanoparticles can increase the stability and solubility of phytochemicals, exhibit a sustained release property, enhance their absorption and bioavailability, protect them from premature enzymatic degradation or metabolism, prolong their circulation time, improve their target specificity to cancer cells or tumors via passive or targeted delivery, lower toxicity or side-effects to normal cells or tissues through preventing them from prematurely interacting with the biological environment, and enhance anti-cancer activities. Nanotechnology opens a door for developing phytochemical-loaded nanoparticles for prevention and treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-652
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Journal of Natural Medicines
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • (-)-Epigallocatechin Gallate
  • Biocompatible
  • Biodegradable
  • Cancer
  • Curcumin
  • Genistein
  • Nanoparticles
  • Quercetin
  • Resveratrol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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