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Ionic Liquid-Polymer Nanoparticle Hybrid Systems as New Tools to Deliver Poorly Soluble Drugs

CBIOS—Universidade Lusófona Research Center for Biosciences & Health Technologies, Campo Grande 376, 1749–024 Lisboa, Portugal
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Alcalá, Ctra. Madrid-Barcelona Km. 33.600, 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
LAQV, REQUIMTE, Department of Chemical Sciences—Applied Chemistry Lab, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
iBB-Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1148;
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery)
PDF [3265 KB, uploaded 10 August 2019]


The use of functional excipients such as ionic liquids (ILs) and the encapsulation of drugs into nanocarriers are useful strategies to overcome poor drug solubility. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems as tools to deliver poorly soluble drugs. These systems were obtained using a methodology previously developed by our group and improved herein to produce IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems. Two different choline-based ILs and poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) 50:50 or PLGA 75:25 were used to load rutin into the delivery system. The resulting rutin-loaded IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems presented a diameter of 250–300 nm, with a low polydispersity index and a zeta potential of about −40 mV. The drug association efficiency ranged from 51% to 76%, which represents a good achievement considering the poor solubility of rutin. No significant particle aggregation was obtained upon freeze-drying. The presence of the IL in the nanosystem does not affect its sustained release properties, achieving about 85% of rutin released after 72 h. The cytotoxicity studies showed that the delivery system was not toxic to HaCat cells. Our findings may open a new paradigm on the therapy improvement of diseases treated with poorly soluble drugs. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionic liquid; polymer; PLGA; nanoparticle; poorly soluble drug; rutin; drug delivery; hybrid system ionic liquid; polymer; PLGA; nanoparticle; poorly soluble drug; rutin; drug delivery; hybrid system

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Júlio, A.; Caparica, R.; Costa Lima, S.A.; Fernandes, A.S.; Rosado, C.; Prazeres, D.M.F.; Reis, S.; Santos de Almeida, T.; Fonte, P. Ionic Liquid-Polymer Nanoparticle Hybrid Systems as New Tools to Deliver Poorly Soluble Drugs. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1148.

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