Synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of a magnetic molecular imprinted polymer for 5-fluorouracil as an intelligent drug delivery system for breast cancer treatment


Magnetic carriers-based molecular imprinting has become one of the most interesting phenomena in the drug delivery field. In this study, we endeavor to devise an effective magnetic drug carrier via imprinting technology for 5-fluorouracil and investigate its anticancer activity toward breast cancer treatment. In this case, methacrylic acid and trimethylolpropane triacrylate were chosen for imprinting 5-fluorouracil on the magnetic fluorescent core. With this aim, fluorescein isothiocyanate was utilized as a fluorescent agent. FT-IR, EDX, XRD, VSM, FESEM, TEM, and BET analysis were used to characterize the synthesized carrier. According to adsorption studies, the adsorption of 5-fluorouracil was followed by Freundlich isotherm (QMAX: 121.6 mg/g) in a fast second-order kinetic model (6 min) in our proposed carrier. Afterward, based on the release studies the Higuchi dynamic model was suggested for leaching of 5-fluorouracil from the carrier. Eventually, the cytotoxicity effect of the projected carrier on MCF-10 and MCF-7 cell lines was investigated. In this case, the magnetic carrier has shown 61% cytotoxicity on cancer cells which were about 25 times greater than the pure drug, but it had no significant effect on normal cells. In all steps, the non-imprinted carrier was investigated as a comparison. This study has shown that our proposed magnetic nanocarrier can effectively be utilized in breast cancer treatment.

Graphic abstract

The synthesis of magnetic molecular imprinted for 5-FU toward the breast cancer treatment eliminates the MDR of cancer cell toward the 5-FU.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Alireza Hassanpour for his unscrupulous contributions and also for the path he has laid down for us to this project (Faculty of Chemistry, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran). This work was supported by the Iran National Science Foundation (, and we are grateful to acknowledge the Department of Organic Chemistry, (Faculty of Chemistry, Amirkabir University, Tehran, Iran) for supporting this work.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Shadabfar or Majid Abdouss.

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Shadabfar, M., Abdouss, M. & Khonakdar, H.A. Synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of a magnetic molecular imprinted polymer for 5-fluorouracil as an intelligent drug delivery system for breast cancer treatment. J Mater Sci 55, 12287–12304 (2020).

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