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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2012, Article ID 896141, 9 pages
Research Article

Immunosuppressive Activity of Size-Controlled PEG-PLGA Nanoparticles Containing Encapsulated Cyclosporine A

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2Transplantation Research Center, Renal Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02139, USA
3Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Received 13 October 2011; Accepted 6 December 2011

Academic Editor: Andreas Zuckermann

Copyright © 2012 Li Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We encapsulated cyclosporine A (CsA) in poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PEG-PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) by nanoprecipitation of CsA and PEG-PLGA. The resulting CsA/PEG-PLGA-NPs were <100 nm in diameter with a narrow particle size distribution. The NP size could be controlled by tuning the polymer concentration, solvent, or water/solvent ratio during formulation. The PEGylated NPs maintained non-aggregated in salt solution. Solid NPs lyoprotected with bovine serum albumin were prepared for the convenience of storage and transportation. The release kinetics of CsA (55.6% released on Day 1) showed potential for maintaining therapeutic CsA concentrations in vivo. In T-cell assays, both free CsA and CsA/PEG-PLGA-NPs suppressed T-cell proliferation and production of inflammatory cytokines dose dependently. In a mixed lymphocyte reaction assay, the IC50 values for free CsA and CsA/PEG-PLGA-NPs were found to be 30 and 35 ng/mL, respectively. This nanoparticulate CsA delivery technology constitutes a strong basis for future targeted delivery of immunosuppressive drugs with improved efficiency and potentially reduced toxicity.