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Adsorption behavior of melphalan anti-ovarian cancer drug onto boron nitride nanostructures. Studying MTT assay: in vitro cellular toxicity and viability

Xia Meng, Licui Ye, Zhiling Yang, Rui Xiang, and Jingyi Wang

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu Medical College, China National Nuclear Corporation 416 Hospital, Chengdu, China



Received: 28 September 2020  Accepted: 22 October 2020


Ovarian cancer is believed as one of the most fatal reproductive cancers and melphalan has been known to treat this cancer as an intraperitoneal chemotherapeutic agent. Fortunately, nanotechnology enabled us to explore new approaches like nano vectors as drug nanocarriers to avoid or to diminish the collateral and secondary effects of anticancer drugs. Herein, boron nitride (BN) is disclosed as an effective nanocarrier for the delivery of melphalan anti-cancer drug. The performed density functional theory (DFT) studies showed good adsorption of melphalan on the surface of pure and Ge-doped boron nitride. In addition, the in vitro cellular toxicity and viability of boron nitride nanoparticles were examined on SKOV3 cancer cells. The inhibitory dose ID50 of BN nanoparticles confirmed that this material can be achieved as an acceptable vehicle for delivery of melphalan. Moreover, the effect of boron nitride nanoparticles (2 μg/mL) on the average growth curves of SKOV3 cancer cells showed a decrease of the MTT signal compared to the untreated cells and BN can reduce the metabolic activity of the performed cancer cells. Therefore, this fullerene can be regarded as a suitable sensor for detection of melphalan anti-cancer drug in biological systems. This study showed that BN nanoparticles have a clear inhibitory effect on the proliferation of SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells.

Keywords: Melphalan; Adsorption; Ge-doping; Boron nitride; Anti-ovarian cancer

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01405-w


Chemical Papers 75 (4) 1469–1474 (2021)

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