Among metal oxides, zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of the most attractive materials thanks to its biocompatible and biodegradable properties along with the existence of various morphologies featuring piezoelectric, semiconducting and photocatalytic activities. All of these structures were successfully prepared and tested for numerous applications, including optoelectronics, sensors and biomedical ones. In the last case, biocompatible ZnO nanomaterials positively influenced cells growth and tissue regeneration as well, promoting wound healing and new bone formation. Despite showing high surface areas, ZnO morphologies generally lack an intrinsic mesoporous structure, strongly limiting the investigation of the corresponding drug loading and release properties. Within this scope, this study focuses on the adsorption and release properties of high surface area, mesoporous ZnO structures using gentamicin sulfate (GS), a well known antibiotic against bacterial infections especially in orthopedics. The particular ZnO morphology was achieved starting from sputtered porous zinc layers, finally converted into ZnO by thermal oxidation. By taking advantage of this mesoporous framework, GS was successfully adsorbed within the ZnO matrix and the kinetic release profile evaluated for up to seven days. The adsorption of GS was successfully demonstrated, with a maximum amount of 263 mg effectively loaded per gram of active material. Then, fast kinetic release was obtained in vitro by simple diffusion mechanism, thus opening further possibilities of smart pore and surface engineering to improve the controlled delivery.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited