Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. It is estimated that in the year 2020 about 7,162 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the average mortality in the same year is estimated in 4,905 deaths. The high lethality is related with the lack of specific symptoms and a reliable early detection tests. Thus, approximately 70% of all patients are diagnosed with advanced stages III and IV of the disease. The paclitaxel is a first-line medicinal treatment of ovarian cancer, however its low water solubility is responsible for the poor bioavailability of the same. To improve the water solubility the formulation has been associated with Cremophor EL® (Taxol®), however, the high concentration of Cremophor EL® in the formulation has been implicated in serious side effects. So, research is necessary on the development of new formulations that enables greater control of drug bioavailability, promising greater safety and therapeutic efficacy. Nanotechnology has been utilized in medicine for drug delivery systems, due to the reduction nanoparticles size offer advantages over conventional treatment, such as increase stability and water solubility, the enhanced permeability and retention effect, provide a sustained release which allows reducing the number of administrations and the side effects. In this context, the present work aims to develop and characterize of folate conjugated nanoparticles PLGA containing paclitaxel in order to optimize the treatment of ovarian cancer. The nanoparticles will be obtained by the nanoprecipitation technique and assessed for their physicochemical properties (size, zeta potential, polydispersity, morphology, encapsulation efficiency, thermal properties, FTIR spectroscopy absorption profile, and in vitro release profile). The evaluation will be perfomed in vitro, through the study of cell uptake by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry, besides the investigation of the cytotoxicity and efficacy against ovarian cancer cell line.
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