Formulating co-loaded nanoliposomes with gallic acid and quercetin for enhanced cancer therapy

Ali Al-Samydai, Moath Al Qaraleh, Khaldun M. Al Azzam, Amal Mayyas, Hamdi Nsairat, Maha N. Abu Hajleh, Lidia K. Al-Halaseh, Nehaya Al-Karablieh, Amal Akour, Fatima Alshaik, Walhan Alshaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is considered one of the top global causes of death. Natural products have been used in oncology medicine either in crude form or by utilizing isolated secondary metabolites. Biologically active phytomolecules such as gallic acid and quercetin have confirmed antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and neoplastic properties. There is an agreement that microorganisms could mediate oncogenesis or alter the immune system. This research project aims to develop a novel formulation of co-loaded gallic acid and quercetin into nanoliposomes and investigate the efficacy of the free and combined agents against multiple cancerous cell lines and bacterial strains. Thin-film hydration technique was adopted to synthesize the nanocarriers. Particle characteristics were measured using a Zetasizer. The morphology of nanoliposomes was examined by scanning electron microscopy, Encapsulation efficiency and drug loading were evaluated using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. Cytotoxicity was determined against Breast Cancer Cells MCF-7, Human Carcinoma Cells HT-29, and A549 Lung Cancer Cells. The antibacterial activities were evaluated against Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. Therapeutic formulas were categorized into groups: free gallic acid, free quercetin, free-mix, and their nano-counterparts. Findings revealed that drug loading capacity was 0.204 for the mix formula compared to 0.092 and 0.68 for free gallic acid and quercetin, respectively. Regarding the Zeta potential, the mix formula showed more amphiphilic charge than the free quercetin and free gallic acid formulas (P-values 0.003 and 0.002 receptively). On the contrary, no significant difference in polydispersity indices was reported. Lung cancerous cells were the most affected by the treatments. The best estimated IC50 values were observed in breast and lung cancer lines for the nano-gallic acid and co-loaded particles. The nano-quercetin formula exhibited the least cytotoxicity with an IC50 value of ≥200 μg/mL in both breast (MCF-7) and colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines (HT-29) with no activity against the lung. A remarkable improvement in the efficacy of quercetin was measured after mixing it with gallic acid against the breast and lungs. The tested therapeutic agents exhibited antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria. Nano-liposomes can either enhance or reduce the cytotoxicity activity of active compounds depending on the physical and chemical properties of drug-loaded and type of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17267
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Antibacterial
  • Antitumor activity
  • Co-loaded
  • Combined therapy
  • Gallic acid
  • Nanoliposomes
  • Quercetin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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