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Synthesis, characterization, and development of alpha-pinene nanoemulsion as an apoptotic inducer with cytotoxicity activity on human melanoma and breast cancer

Ali Ghanbariasad, Mahmoud Osanloo, Shekoufeh Hatami, Sepideh Khaksar, Elham Zarenezhad, Razie Ranjbar, and Hiva Alipanah

Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran



Received: 13 June 2023  Accepted: 14 October 2023


Alpha-pinene (AP) is known for with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Nanoemulsion-based formulations are widely used in drug delivery of hydrophobic molecules. This study formulated AP into nanoemulsion (APNE), and its cytotoxicity activity and therapeutic anticancer efficacy were evaluated. The successful loading of AP in the APNE was also confirmed using ATR-FTIR analysis. Moreover, the anticancer properties and apoptotic effects (BAX/BCL-2 ratio) of the AP and APNE on melanoma (A-375) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cell lines were investigated using a modified MTT assay. Results showed that APNE and AP with IC50 values of 106.19 and 264.20 μg/mL on A-375 and 168.02 and 213.34 μg/mL on MCF-7 cell lines showed proper anti-proliferation activity. However, APNE potency was significantly higher than AP, especially in melanoma cells. In addition, the BAX/BCL-2 ratio in treated cells increased. Drug delivery system-based nanoformulation can be a suitable candidate for delivery of AP which leads to the reducing dose and/or increasing the apoptotic effects of AP in breast and melanoma cancer cells.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: α-Pinene; Nanoemulsion; Cell survival; Apoptosis; Drug delivery systems

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-03156-w


Chemical Papers 78 (2) 1181–1191 (2024)

Friday, May 24, 2024

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