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Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 18797

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The development of modern technologies entails the need to produce innovative materials characterized by high functionality. Polymer nanocomposites show great potential in this field, obtained by dispersing modifiers with dimensions of a few nanometers in a polymer matrix. Their attractiveness is due to the fact that the matrix interacts with the dispersed phase at the molecular level, which means that the nanofiller can significantly affect the selected parameters of the composite. The introduction of even a small amount of a nanoadditive is able to improve the mechanical, optical, electrical, thermal and bacteriostatic properties of the material.

Materials made of biopolymers are of particular interest. They are included in the so-called biocomposites, i.e. composites in which at least one component is biogenic or biodegradable. They are a good alternative to the commonly used synthetic plastics, which are a high burden for the environment. Due to their easy availability and low production costs, they have great potential for applications in the industrial sector. In addition, the diversity of functional groups makes them a particularly rewarding material for modification.

In addition to the many favorable features characteristic of all biopolymers, they exhibit a number of unique physicochemical and functional properties. This gives great opportunities to apply them in almost all areas of science and industry. However, despite their many advantages, biopolymer materials also have limitations. These are mainly poor mechanical, thermal and barrier properties. In order for them to be able to compete with the currently used synthetic materials, it is necessary to eliminate these disadvantages, e.g. by including nanoparticles in their structure. The selection of appropriate components of nanocomposites and the improvement of their production methods is an important element enabling technological development.

This Special Issue aims to present the progress of groundbreaking research into the design, production and application of biopolimers as a nanoparticles carriers.

Dr. Magdalena Krystyjan
Dr. Gohar Khachatryan
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • (nano)fillers
  • nanoparticles
  • nanotubes
  • quantum dots
  • nanostructures
  • nanometals
  • nanocapsules
  • biopolymers
  • biocomposites
 

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 8267 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical and Functional Properties and Storage Stability of Chitosan–Starch Films Containing Micellar Nano/Microstructures with Turmeric and Hibiscus Extracts
by Liliana Woszczak, Karen Khachatryan, Magdalena Krystyjan, Teresa Witczak, Mariusz Witczak, Dorota Gałkowska, Małgorzata Makarewicz and Gohar Khachatryan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512218 - 30 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2300
Abstract
The dynamic development of the food industry and the growing interest of consumers in innovative solutions that increase the comfort and quality of life push the industry towards seeking pioneering solutions in the field of food packaging. Intelligent and active packaging, which affects [...] Read more.
The dynamic development of the food industry and the growing interest of consumers in innovative solutions that increase the comfort and quality of life push the industry towards seeking pioneering solutions in the field of food packaging. Intelligent and active packaging, which affects the quality and durability of food products and allows one to determine their freshness, is still a modern concept. The aim of our study was to obtain two types of films based on chitosan and starch with micellar nanostructures containing extracts from turmeric rhizomes and hibiscus flowers. The presence of spherical nanostructures was confirmed using a scanning electron microscope. The structural and optical properties of the obtained composites were characterised by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), UltraViolet-Visible (UV-VIS), and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis confirmed the presence of spherical micellar structures with a size of about 800 nm in the obtained biocomposites. The presence of nano-/microstructures containing extracts affected the mechanical properties of the composites: it weakened the strength of the films and improved their elongation at break (EAB). Films with nano-/microparticles were characterised by a higher water content compared to the control sample and lower solubility, and they showed stronger hydrophilic properties. Preliminary storage tests showed that the obtained biocomposites are sensitive to changes occurring during the storage of products such as cheese or fish. In addition, it was found that the film with the addition of turmeric extract inhibited the growth of microorganisms during storage. The results suggest that the obtained bionanocomposites can be used as active and/or intelligent materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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20 pages, 10665 KiB  
Article
Combination of Copper Metallodendrimers with Conventional Antitumor Drugs to Combat Cancer in In Vitro Models
by Marcin Hołota, Sylwia Michlewska, Sandra Garcia-Gallego, Natalia Sanz del Olmo, Paula Ortega, Maria Bryszewska, Francisco Javier de la Mata and Maksim Ionov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 4076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24044076 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1996
Abstract
Copper carbosilane metallodendrimers containing chloride ligands and nitrate ligands were mixed with commercially available conventional anticancer drugs, doxorubicin, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil, for a possible therapeutic system. To verify the hypothesis that copper metallodendrimers can form conjugates with anticancer drugs, their complexes were biophysically [...] Read more.
Copper carbosilane metallodendrimers containing chloride ligands and nitrate ligands were mixed with commercially available conventional anticancer drugs, doxorubicin, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil, for a possible therapeutic system. To verify the hypothesis that copper metallodendrimers can form conjugates with anticancer drugs, their complexes were biophysically characterized using zeta potential and zeta size methods. Next, to confirm the existence of a synergetic effect of dendrimers and drugs, in vitro studies were performed. The combination therapy has been applied in two cancer cell lines: MCF-7 (human breast cancer cell line) and HepG2 (human liver carcinoma cell line). The doxorubicin (DOX), methotrexate (MTX) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) were more effective against cancer cells when conjugated with copper metallodendrimers. Such combination significantly decreased cancer cell viability when compared to noncomplexed drugs or dendrimers. The incubation of cells with drug/dendrimer complexes resulted in the increase of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and the depolarization of mitochondrial membranes. Copper ions present in the dendrimer structures enhanced the anticancer properties of the whole nanosystem and improved drug effects, inducing both the apoptosis and necrosis of MCF-7 (human breast cancer cell line) and HepG2 (human liver carcinoma cell line) cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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16 pages, 3843 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Structural Studies of New Selenium Derivatives Based on Covalent Functionalization of MWCNTs
by Sandra Żarska, Rafał Szukiewicz, Sergiu Coseri, Volodymyr Pavlyuk, Dorota Krasowska and Wojciech Ciesielski
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3299; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043299 - 7 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
Modifying the surface of nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, by introducing heteroatoms or larger functional groups into the structure causes a change in chemical properties—manifested in the increase in reactivity as well as a change in conductivity. This paper presents the new selenium [...] Read more.
Modifying the surface of nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, by introducing heteroatoms or larger functional groups into the structure causes a change in chemical properties—manifested in the increase in reactivity as well as a change in conductivity. This paper presents the new selenium derivatives obtained by a covalent functionalization of brominated multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The synthesis was carried out in mild conditions (3 days at room temperature), and was additionally assisted with ultrasound. After a two-stage purification, the obtained products were identified and characterized by the following methods: scanning and transmission electron microscopy imaging (SEM and TEM), energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). In the selenium derivatives of carbon nanotubes, the content of selenium and phosphorus reached 14 and 4.2 wt%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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22 pages, 5017 KiB  
Article
Fluoroplast Doped by Ag2O Nanoparticles as New Repairing Non-Cytotoxic Antibacterial Coating for Meat Industry
by Sergey V. Gudkov, Ruibin Li, Dmitriy A. Serov, Dmitriy E. Burmistrov, Ilya V. Baimler, Alexey S. Baryshev, Alexander V. Simakin, Oleg V. Uvarov, Maxim E. Astashev, Natalia B. Nefedova, Sergey Y. Smolentsev, Andrey V. Onegov, Mikhail A. Sevostyanov, Alexey G. Kolmakov, Mikhail A. Kaplan, Andrey Drozdov, Eteri R. Tolordava, Anastasia A. Semenova, Andrey B. Lisitsyn and Vasily N. Lednev
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(1), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24010869 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3015
Abstract
Foodborne infections are an important global health problem due to their high prevalence and potential for severe complications. Bacterial contamination of meat during processing at the enterprise can be a source of foodborne infections. Polymeric coatings with antibacterial properties can be applied to [...] Read more.
Foodborne infections are an important global health problem due to their high prevalence and potential for severe complications. Bacterial contamination of meat during processing at the enterprise can be a source of foodborne infections. Polymeric coatings with antibacterial properties can be applied to prevent bacterial contamination. A composite coating based on fluoroplast and Ag2O NPs can serve as such a coating. In present study, we, for the first time, created a composite coating based on fluoroplast and Ag2O NPs. Using laser ablation in water, we obtained spherical Ag2O NPs with an average size of 45 nm and a ζ-potential of −32 mV. The resulting Ag2O NPs at concentrations of 0.001–0.1% were transferred into acetone and mixed with a fluoroplast-based varnish. The developed coating made it possible to completely eliminate damage to a Teflon cutting board. The fluoroplast/Ag2O NP coating was free of defects and inhomogeneities at the nano level. The fluoroplast/Ag2O NP composite increased the production of ROS (H2O2, OH radical), 8-oxogualnine in DNA in vitro, and long-lived active forms of proteins. The effect depended on the mass fraction of the added Ag2O NPs. The 0.01–0.1% fluoroplast/NP Ag2O coating exhibited excellent bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria but did not affect the viability of eukaryotic cells. The developed PTFE/NP Ag2O 0.01–0.1% coating can be used to protect cutting boards from bacterial contamination in the meat processing industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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16 pages, 2692 KiB  
Article
Combined Therapy with Simvastatin- and Coenzyme-Q10-Loaded Nanoparticles Upregulates the Akt-eNOS Pathway in Experimental Metabolic Syndrome
by Ezgi Şaman, Martina Cebova, Andrej Barta, Martina Koneracka, Vlasta Zavisova, Anita Eckstein-Andicsova, Martin Danko, Jaroslav Mosnacek and Olga Pechanova
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(1), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24010276 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1986
Abstract
In addition to their LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect, statins have pleiotropic beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. However, long-term treatment with statins may be associated with serious side effects. With the aim to make statin therapy more effective, we studied the effects of simvastatin- and [...] Read more.
In addition to their LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect, statins have pleiotropic beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. However, long-term treatment with statins may be associated with serious side effects. With the aim to make statin therapy more effective, we studied the effects of simvastatin- and coenzyme-Q10-loaded polymeric nanoparticles on the lipid profile and nitric oxide (NO)/reactive oxygen species (ROS) balance in the heart and aorta of adult male obese Zucker rats. The rats were divided into an untreated group, a group treated with empty nanoparticles, and groups treated with simvastatin-, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)-, or a combination of simvastatin- and CoQ10-loaded nanoparticles (SIMV+CoQ10). After 6 weeks, the lipid profile in the plasma and the concentration of conjugated dienes in the liver were determined. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, Akt, endothelial NOS (eNOS), phosphorylated eNOS (p-eNOS), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) protein expressions were measured in the heart and aorta. All simvastatin, CoQ10, and SIMV+CoQ10 treatments decreased plasma LDL levels, but only the combined SIMV+CoQ10 treatment increased NOS activity and the expression of Akt, eNOS, and p-eNOS in both the heart and the aorta. Interestingly, NADPH oxidase in the heart and NF-kappaB protein expression in the aorta were decreased by all treatments, including nanoparticles alone. In conclusion, only combined therapy with SIMV- and CoQ10-loaded nanoparticles increased NOS activity and upregulated the Akt-eNOS pathway in obese Zucker rats, which may represent a promising tool for the treatment of cardiometabolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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21 pages, 4062 KiB  
Article
Branched Poly(ε-caprolactone)-Based Copolyesters of Different Architectures and Their Use in the Preparation of Anticancer Drug-Loaded Nanoparticles
by Evi Christodoulou, Maria Notopoulou, Eirini Nakiou, Margaritis Kostoglou, Panagiotis Barmpalexis and Dimitrios N. Bikiaris
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 15393; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232315393 - 6 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1832
Abstract
Limitations associated with the use of linear biodegradable polyesters in the preparation of anticancer nano-based drug delivery systems (nanoDDS) have turned scientific attention to the utilization of branched-chain (co-)polymers. In this context, the present study evaluates the use of novel branched poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-based [...] Read more.
Limitations associated with the use of linear biodegradable polyesters in the preparation of anticancer nano-based drug delivery systems (nanoDDS) have turned scientific attention to the utilization of branched-chain (co-)polymers. In this context, the present study evaluates the use of novel branched poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-based copolymers of different architectures for the preparation of anticancer nanoparticle (NP)-based formulations, using paclitaxel (PTX) as a model drug. Specifically, three PCL-polyol branched polyesters, namely, a three-arm copolymer based on glycerol (PCL-GLY), a four-arm copolymer based on pentaerythritol (PCL-PE), and a five-arm copolymer based on xylitol (PCL-XYL), were synthesized via ring-opening polymerization and characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), intrinsic viscosity, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and cytotoxicity. Then, PTX-loaded NPs were prepared by an oil-in-water emulsion. The size of the obtained NPs varied from 200 to 300 nm, while the drug was dispersed in crystalline form in all formulations. High encapsulation efficiency and high yields were obtained in all cases, while FTIR analysis showed no molecular drug polymer. Finally, in vitro drug release studies showed that the studied nanocarriers significantly enhanced the dissolution rate and extent of the drug. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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19 pages, 4372 KiB  
Article
Development of Biodegradable GQDs-hMSNs for Fluorescence Imaging and Dual Cancer Treatment via Photodynamic Therapy and Drug Delivery
by Sarah Reagen, Yingfen Wu, Di Sun, Carlos Munoz, Nuri Oncel, Colin Combs and Julia Xiaojun Zhao
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 14931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232314931 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
Recently, nano-based cancer therapeutics have been researched and developed, with some nanomaterials showing anticancer properties. When it comes to cancer treatment, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) contain the ability to generate 1O2, a reactive oxidative species (ROS), allowing for the synergistic [...] Read more.
Recently, nano-based cancer therapeutics have been researched and developed, with some nanomaterials showing anticancer properties. When it comes to cancer treatment, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) contain the ability to generate 1O2, a reactive oxidative species (ROS), allowing for the synergistic imaging and photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer. However, due to their small particle size, GQDs struggle to remain in the target area for long periods of time in addition to being poor drug carriers. To address this limitation of GQDs, hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (hMSNs) have been extensively researched for drug delivery applications. This project investigates the utilization and combination of biomass-derived GQDs and Stöber silica hMSNs to make graphene quantum dots-hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (GQDs-hMSNs) for fluorescent imaging and dual treatment of cancer via drug delivery and photodynamic therapy (PDT). Although the addition of hMSNs made the newly synthesized nanoparticles slightly more toxic at higher concentrations, the GQDs-hMSNs displayed excellent drug delivery using fluorescein (FITC) as a mock drug, and PDT treatment by using the GQDs as a photosensitizer (PS). Additionally, the GQDs retained their fluorescence through the surface binding to hMSNs, allowing them to still be used for cell-labeling applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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Review

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21 pages, 2699 KiB  
Review
Tuning Peptide-Based Hydrogels: Co-Assembly with Composites Driving the Highway to Technological Applications
by Valéria Gomes, Sérgio R. S. Veloso, Miguel A. Correa-Duarte, Paula M. T. Ferreira and Elisabete M. S. Castanheira
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(1), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24010186 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2902
Abstract
Self-assembled peptide-based gels provide several advantages for technological applications. Recently, the co-assembly of gelators has been a strategy to modulate and tune gel properties and even implement stimuli-responsiveness. However, it still comprises limitations regarding the required library of compounds and outcoming properties. Hence, [...] Read more.
Self-assembled peptide-based gels provide several advantages for technological applications. Recently, the co-assembly of gelators has been a strategy to modulate and tune gel properties and even implement stimuli-responsiveness. However, it still comprises limitations regarding the required library of compounds and outcoming properties. Hence, efforts have been made to combine peptide-based gels and (in)organic composites (e.g., magnetic nanoparticles, metal nanoparticles, liposomes, graphene, silica, clay, titanium dioxide, cadmium sulfide) to endow stimuli-responsive materials and achieve suitable properties in several fields ranging from optoelectronics to biomedical. Herein, we discuss the recent developments with composite peptide-based gels including the fabrication, tunability of gels’ properties, and challenges on (bio)technological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers as Nanoparticles Carriers)
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