In a recent study published in the international journal of Biological Macromolecules, scientists have used a new approach for smart drug delivery. They used coated multilayer magnetic hydrogel nanoparticles to deliver dexamethasone in vitro.
Nanoparticles have received lots of attention as a smart drug delivery system in the past decade. Thanks to their unique features, magnetic nanoparticles are one of the most suitable drug delivery systems. On the other hand, hydrogels have very low toxicity, side effects and high capacity for water absorption. This makes them an interesting option for smart drug delivery.
Magnetic hydrogel nanoparticles for smart drug delivery
Researchers from Azerbaijan Shahid Madani university, have created new magnetic hydrogel nanoparticles for PH-sensitive smart drug delivery. Researchers created Nano carboxymethyl cellulose (NCMC) particles which were magnetized by Fe3O4 and then applied them in spherical alginate-based hydrogels. In order to overcome their low solubility in water and biological fluids, the particles were coated with chitosan. Researchers used dexamethasone as the experimental drug. Dexamethasone is used to treat acute and chronic eye disorders and inflammatory diseases including asthma, meningitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the researchers, this is the first time that NCMC has been created by carboxymethylation of CNC and then incorporated into alginate/chitosan particles. Researchers investigated different forms of NCMC particles in vitro. These forms differed in qualities such as surface morphology, size, crystallization and the pattern of drug delivery. Also, swelling behavior of hydrogels were studied in different PH environments that were similar to stomach (PH: 1.2), intestines (PH: 7.4) and cancerous cells (PH: 5.8).
Magnetic NCMC improves qualities of hydrogels
Scientists concluded that the presence of magnetic NCMC in the formulation of spherical hydrogels improved swelling degree, drug loading capacity and drug delivery behavior. In vitro investigations showed that nanoparticles are extremely sensitive to PH of the environment. Drugs were not released in environments which had similar PH to stomach or intestines. Further, these nanoparticles showed high degrees of sensitivity for dexamethasone in PH 5.8 compared to other PH conditions.
These nanoparticles are eco-friendly, inexpensive, and made from simple materials. At the same time they have magnetic and PH sensitivity. All of these features make them a very potent and useful smart drug delivery system.