Curcumin-loaded nanoparticles and their potential as anticancer agents in breast cancer

Leanne De Silva, Bey Hing Goh, Learn Han Lee, Lay Hong Chuah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Curcumin (CUR) is the bio-active agent found in turmeric and has been used for centuries as a flavouring and colouring agent in the Southeast Asian cuisine. It possesses a wide range of biological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antirheumatic and anticancer characteristics. CUR is a desirable anticancer agent as it selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. It has been shown to directly interfere with numerous signalling molecules involved in the growth, promotion and angiogenesis of cancer cells. Furthermore, the consumption of large amounts of CUR of up to 12 g per day has demonstrated acceptable tolerance and safety for human consumption. However, the in vivo application of CUR is limited by its low water solubility, stability and bioavailability. The encapsulation of CUR in nano-formulations has been shown to improve the efficacy of CUR as an anticancer agent by increasing its solubility in aqueous media, prolonging in vivo circulation time and decreasing the rate of degradation. Nano-formulations open a door for developing CUR as an anticancer drug with minimal side effects. In the present chapter, anticancer efficacy of various CUR nano-formulations, such as polymeric nanoparticles, polymeric micelles, liposomes, dendrimers, solid lipid nanoparticles, protein-based nanoparticles, mesoporous silica nanoparticles, inorganic nanoparticles and magnetic nanoparticles has been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNatural Bio-active Compounds
Subtitle of host publicationChemistry, Pharmacology and Health Care Practices
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9789811372056
ISBN (Print)9789811372049
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Curcumin
  • Nano-formulations
  • Nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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