Polymeric Nanocapsules for Controlled Delivery of Lipophilic Drugs

Joanna Szafraniec ,  Łukasz Piękoś ,  Szczepan Zapotoczny ,  Maria Nowakowska 

Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Chemistry, Ingardena 3, Kraków 30-060, Poland


       Development of the techniques of designing and production of controlled drug delivery systems represents one of the most important area of contemporary science. Traditional drug carriers are ineffective because of partial degradation and toxic as a consequence of lack of control over concentration. It makes they are expensive, often uncomfortable for patients and cause side effects thus need to be replaced by more effective, cheaper and better defined systems.

       The ideal drug carrier should be inert, biocompatible, biodegradable, non-toxic, mechanically strong, easy to fabricate, efficient in loading and release of drugs and simple to administer. Polymers satisfy this requirements and are believed to be sufficient materials for biomedical applications. There are many different types of polymeric materials suitable for fabrication of drug delivery systems, such as nanoparticles, nanocapsules, brushes, graft and block polymers.

       Amphiphilic polyelectrolytes attract attention due to their wide range of practical applications. The presence of hydrophilic groups makes them soluble in water while presence of hydrophobic groups leads to spontaneous aggregation of polymer in aqueous solution which causes formation of hydrophobic domains in which poorly soluble organic compounds can be solubilized. It makes such systems can be used as nanoreactors or nanocontainers, e.g. drug carriers.

       The aim of my research is to synthesize and characterize amphiphilic polyelectrolytes which enable encapsulation of liphophilic drugs and their controlled delivery. Nanocapsules are created via “layer by layer” technique which relies on consecutively alternating adsorption of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes and leads to formation of multilayer walls. By using controlled radical polymerization techniques it is possible to control molecular weight and architecture of synthesized polymers. Stability of capsules depends on both of that features hence possibility of control of them is crucial for biomedical applications where it is important to have stable drug carriers.

       Presented results include both, experimental and theoretical characterization of the model system. Experimental studies include spectroscopic methods (UV/VIS, IR), measurements of dynamic light scattering and optical microscopy Theoretical calculations include quantum-chemical Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics on the semiempirical level of theory (as implemented in MSINDO software package).


[1] S. Zapotoczny, M. Rymarczyk - Machał, A. Stradomska, P. Petelenz, M. Nowakowska,
      J. Chem. Phys. B 2007, 111, 10088-10094.
[2] Bajpai, A. K., Shukla, K. S., Bhanu, S., Kankane, S., Progress in Polymer Science
     2008, 33, 1088–1118.

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Presentation: Poster at Nano-Biotechnologia PL, by Joanna Szafraniec
See On-line Journal of Nano-Biotechnologia PL

Submitted: 2012-06-24 15:32
Revised:   2012-06-24 15:32
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