Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 87–97 | Cite as

Implementation of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to evaluate HER-2 aptamer conjugation to Ecoflex® nanoparticles for docetaxel delivery in breast cancer cells

  • Jaleh VarshosazEmail author
  • Erfaneh Ghassami
  • Abdollah Noorbakhsh
  • Ali Jahanian-Najafabadi
  • Mohsen Minayian
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Sensors


Aptamers are affinity molecules with high specificity, proposed as excellent alternatives to antibodies in targeting and detecting applications due to their smaller size, higher stability, and simplicity of production and modification compared with antibodies. Due to lack of a sensitive and simple method to quantitatively evaluate attachment of aptamer to nanoparticles (NPs), optimization of the attachment process was not considered in most of previously studied aptamer-targeted drug delivery systems. The aim of current study was to demonstrate the utility of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) technique in this field. Ecoflex® polymeric NPs loaded with docetaxel (DTX-NPs) were fabricated via electrospraying technique, and HER-2-specific aptamer molecules were attached via amide bonds (Apt-DTX-NPs). Using EIS method, the time period of various stages of aptamer conjugation was optimized, by comparing the amount of aptamer molecules attached to the DTX-NPs. The results of in vitro studies on optimum Apt-DTX-NPs demonstrated that the proposed delivery system could significantly enhance the cellular uptake and the cytotoxic effect against HER-2 positive cell line in comparison with non-targeted or Herceptin-targeted DTX-NPs. Thus, aptamer conjugation could improve the in vitro performance of Ecoflex NPs, which could be suggested as a potential DTX delivery system in HER-2 overexpressing cancers. In this regard, EIS method could play its role as a sensitive quantification method to obtain the optimized aptamer-conjugated NP systems.

Graphical abstract


Aptamer HER-2 receptor Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Docetaxel Ecoflex nanoparticles 



Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy










Epidermal growth factor receptor


Alternating current


3-[4, 5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide


N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride


N,N-dimethyl formamide




Roswell Park Memorial Institute


Fetal bovine serum




Non-targeted docetaxel nanoparticles

Blank NPs

Docetaxel-free nanoparticles


Docetaxel-free aptamer-targeted nanoparticles


Docetaxel-free Herceptin-targeted nanoparticles


Aptamer-targeted docetaxel nanoparticles


Herceptin-targeted docetaxel nanoparticles


Rhodamine B



The authors appreciate financial support of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy and Novel Drug Delivery Systems Research CentreIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of Nanotechnology Engineering, Faculty of Advanced Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of IsfahanIsfahanIran
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of PharmacyIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology, School of PharmacyIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  5. 5.Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Novel Drug Delivery Systems Research CentreIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran

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