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In the last decade, confocal fluorescence microscopy has emerged as an ultra-sensitive tool for real-time study of nanoparticles (NPs) fate at the cellular-level. According to WHO 2007 report, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is still one of the world’s major health threats by claiming approximately 7,000 new infections daily worldwide. Although combination antiretroviral drugs (cARV) therapy has improved the life-expectancy of HIV-infected patients, routine use of high doses of cARV has serious health consequences and requires complete adherence to the regimen for success. Thus, our research goal is to fabricate long-acting novel cARV loaded poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (cARV-NPs) as drug delivery system. However, important aspects of cARV-NPs that require special emphasis are their cellular-uptake, potency, and sustained drug release efficiency over-time. In this article, ultra-sensitive confocal microscopy is been used to evaluate the uptake and sustained drug release kinetics of cARV-NPs in HeLa cells. To evaluate with the above goal, instead of cARV-drug, Rhodamine6G dye (fluorescent dye) loaded NPs (Rho6G NPs) have been formulated. To correlate the Rhodamin6G release kinetics with the ARV release from NPs, a parallel HPLC study was also performed. The results obtained indicate that Rho6G NPs were efficiently taken up at low concentration (<500 ng/ml) and that release was sustained for a minimum of 4 days of treatment. Therefore, high drug assimilation and sustained release properties of PLGA-NPs make them an attractive vehicle for cARV nano-drug delivery with the potential to reduce drug dosage as well as the number of drug administrations per month.


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