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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Doxorubicin (DOX) is an anticancer drug commonly used in treating cancer; however, it has severe cytotoxicity effects. To overcome both the adverse effects of the drug and mineral deficiency (i.e., hypomagnesemia) experienced by cancer patients, we have developed magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoflakes as drug carriers and loaded them with DOX for use as a targeted drug delivery (TDD) system for potential application in cancer therapy. The synthesis employed herein affords pure, highly porous MgO nanoparticles that are void of the potentially harmful metal contaminants often discussed in the literature. Purposed for dual therapy, the nanoparticles exhibit an impressive 90% drug loading capacity with pH dependent drug releasing rates of 10% at pH 7.2, 50.5% at pH 5.0, and 90.2% at pH 3. Results indicate that therapy is achievable via slow diffusion where MgO nanoflakes degrade (i.e., dissolve) under acidic conditions releasing the drug and magnesium ions to the cancerous region. The TDD system therefore minimizes cytotoxicity to healthy cells while supplying magnesium ions to overcome hypomagnesemia.

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