Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System II

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Smart and Functional Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 11420

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Advanced Polymer Materials Group, University Politehnica of Bucharest, 1–7 Ghe. Polizu Street, 011061 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: drug delivery; gene delivery; biomaterials; composite materials; tissue engineering
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Guest Editor
Department of Organic Chemistry “Costin Nenitescu”, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest, 011061 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: vegetable oil derived polymers; lipid carriers; inorganic nanostructured delivery systems; organogelators
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Continuous scientific progress has shifted the focus of biomedicine research from conventional treatment (focused only on the disease) toward personalized, non-invasive biomedicine, which blurs the limits between the organic/inorganic chemistry and molecular biology. This change in perspective fosters the development of advanced drug-delivery approaches with predictable and tuneable features for improving specificity and drug bioavailability in accordance with the therapeutic purpose. In the frame of the current challenges, functional polymers owing to their characteristics (e.g., versatility in formulation and functionalization, stimuli-responsibility, biodegradability for controlled drug release, and ability to encapsulate/solubilized a wide variety of therapeutics) are of particular interest in the formulation of various drug delivery systems with more sophisticated structures and functions. Moreover, these drug-delivery systems should ensure optimal therapeutic efficiency by preserving and precisely delivering the encapsulated therapeutic agent to the targeted site with minimal site-effects, releasing it in a controlled and sustained manner, in accordance with its purpose, its pharmacological properties, and patient-specific therapeutic function.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to highlight recent achievements in the design of drug delivery formulations leveraging functional polymers with potential applications in biomedicine. 

Dr. Jana Ghitman
Prof. Dr. Raluca Stan
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • drug delivery
  • biodegradable polymer
  • stimuli-responsive polymer
  • targeted drug delivery
  • in vitro/in vivo investigations
  • therapeutic activity
  • synthesis methods
  • biomedical application

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 11163 KiB  
Article
Electrospun/3D-Printed Bicomponent Scaffold Co-Loaded with a Prodrug and a Drug with Antibacterial and Immunomodulatory Properties
by Elena Cojocaru, Jana Ghitman, Gratiela Gradisteanu Pircalabioru, Anamaria Zaharia, Horia Iovu and Andrei Sarbu
Polymers 2023, 15(13), 2854; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15132854 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
This work reports the construction of a bicomponent scaffold co-loaded with both a prodrug and a drug (BiFp@Ht) as an efficient platform for wound dressing, by combining the electrospinning and 3D-printing technologies. The outer component consisted of a chitosan/polyethylene oxide-electrospun membrane loaded with [...] Read more.
This work reports the construction of a bicomponent scaffold co-loaded with both a prodrug and a drug (BiFp@Ht) as an efficient platform for wound dressing, by combining the electrospinning and 3D-printing technologies. The outer component consisted of a chitosan/polyethylene oxide-electrospun membrane loaded with the indomethacin–polyethylene glycol–indomethacin prodrug (Fp) and served as a support for printing the inner component, a gelatin methacryloyl/sodium alginate hydrogel loaded with tetracycline hydrochloride (Ht). The different architectural characteristics of the electrospun and 3D-printed layers were very well highlighted in a morphological analysis performed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). In vitro release profile studies demonstrated that both Fp and Ht layers were capable to release the loaded therapeutics in a controlled and sustained manner. According to a quantitative in vitro biological assessment, the bicomponent BiFp@Ht scaffold showed a good biocompatibility and no cytotoxic effect on HeLa cell cultures, while the highest proliferation level was noted in the case of HeLa cells seeded onto an Fp nanofibrous membrane. Furthermore, the BiFp@Ht scaffold presented an excellent antimicrobial activity against the E. coli and S. aureus bacterial strains, along with promising anti-inflammatory and proangiogenic activities, proving its potential to be used for wound dressing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System II)
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12 pages, 3066 KiB  
Article
Docking Design of the Different Microcapsules in Aqueous Solution and Its Quantitative On-Off Study
by Hongfei Tan, Dan Zhao, Mingxing Liu, Zongguo Hong, Jingxue Liu, Kang Dai and Xincai Xiao
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051131 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1048
Abstract
To avoid risk, spacecraft docking technologies can transport batches of different astronauts or cargoes to a space station. Before now, spacecraft-docking multicarrier/multidrug delivery systems have not been reported on. Herein, inspired by spacecraft docking technology, a novel system including two different docking units, [...] Read more.
To avoid risk, spacecraft docking technologies can transport batches of different astronauts or cargoes to a space station. Before now, spacecraft-docking multicarrier/multidrug delivery systems have not been reported on. Herein, inspired by spacecraft docking technology, a novel system including two different docking units, one made of polyamide (PAAM) and on of polyacrylic acid (PAAC), grafted respectively onto polyethersulfone (PES) microcapsules, is designed, based on intermolecular hydrogen bonds in aqueous solution. VB12 and vancomycin hydrochloride were chosen as the release drugs. The release results show that the docking system is perfect, and has a good responsiveness to temperature when the grafting ratio of PES-g-PAAM and PES-g-PAAC is close to 1:1. Below 25 °C, this system exhibited an “off” effect because the polymer chains on the microcapsule’s surface produced intermolecular hydrogen bonds. Above 25 °C, when the hydrogen bonds were broken, the microcapsules separated from each other, and the system exhibited an “on” state. The results provide valuable guidance for improving the feasibility of multicarrier/multidrug delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System II)
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20 pages, 3250 KiB  
Article
Chitin-Glucan Complex Hydrogels: Physical-Chemical Characterization, Stability, In Vitro Drug Permeation, and Biological Assessment in Primary Cells
by Diana Araújo, Thomas Rodrigues, Catarina Roma-Rodrigues, Vítor D. Alves, Alexandra R. Fernandes and Filomena Freitas
Polymers 2023, 15(4), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15040791 - 4 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2178
Abstract
Chitin-glucan complex (CGC) hydrogels were fabricated by coagulation of the biopolymer from an aqueous alkaline solution, and their morphology, swelling behavior, mechanical, rheological, and biological properties were studied. In addition, their in vitro drug loading/release ability and permeation through mimic-skin artificial membranes (Strat-M) [...] Read more.
Chitin-glucan complex (CGC) hydrogels were fabricated by coagulation of the biopolymer from an aqueous alkaline solution, and their morphology, swelling behavior, mechanical, rheological, and biological properties were studied. In addition, their in vitro drug loading/release ability and permeation through mimic-skin artificial membranes (Strat-M) were assessed. The CGC hydrogels prepared from 4 and 6 wt% CGC suspensions (Na51*4 and Na51*6 hydrogels, respectively) had polymer contents of 2.40 ± 0.15 and 3.09 ± 0.22 wt%, respectively, and displayed a highly porous microstructure, characterized by compressive moduli of 39.36 and 47.30 kPa and storage moduli of 523.20 and 7012.25 Pa, respectively. Both hydrogels had a spontaneous and almost immediate swelling in aqueous media, and a high-water retention capacity (>80%), after 30 min incubation at 37 °C. Nevertheless, the Na51*4 hydrogels had higher fatigue resistance and slightly higher-water retention capacity. These hydrogels were loaded with caffeine, ibuprofen, diclofenac, or salicylic acid, reaching entrapment efficiency values ranging between 13.11 ± 0.49% for caffeine, and 15.15 ± 1.54% for salicylic acid. Similar release profiles in PBS were observed for all tested APIs, comprising an initial fast release followed by a steady slower release. In vitro permeation experiments through Strat-M membranes using Franz diffusion cells showed considerably higher permeation fluxes for caffeine (33.09 µg/cm2/h) and salicylic acid (19.53 µg/cm2/h), compared to ibuprofen sodium and diclofenac sodium (4.26 and 0.44 µg/cm2/h, respectively). Analysis in normal human dermal fibroblasts revealed that CGC hydrogels have no major effects on the viability, migration ability, and morphology of the cells. Given their demonstrated features, CGC hydrogels are very promising structures, displaying tunable physical properties, which support their future development into novel transdermal drug delivery platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System II)
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Review

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19 pages, 1739 KiB  
Review
Progress in the Preparation and Application of Inulin-Based Hydrogels
by Xiaoxu Liang, Danlei Lin, Wen Zhang, Shiji Chen, Hongyao Ding and Hai-Jing Zhong
Polymers 2024, 16(11), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16111492 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Inulin, a natural polysaccharide, has emerged as a promising precursor for the preparation of hydrogels due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and structural versatility. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the recent progress in the preparation, characterization, and diverse applications of inulin-based hydrogels. [...] Read more.
Inulin, a natural polysaccharide, has emerged as a promising precursor for the preparation of hydrogels due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and structural versatility. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the recent progress in the preparation, characterization, and diverse applications of inulin-based hydrogels. Different synthesis strategies, including physical methods (thermal induction and non-thermal induction), chemical methods (free-radical polymerization and chemical crosslinking), and enzymatic approaches, are discussed in detail. The unique properties of inulin-based hydrogels, such as stimuli-responsiveness, antibacterial activity, and their potential as fat replacers, are highlighted. Special emphasis is given to their promising applications in drug delivery systems, especially for colon-targeted delivery, due to the selective degradation of inulin via colonic microflora. The ability to incorporate both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs further expands their therapeutic potential. In addition, the applications of inulin-based hydrogels in responsive materials, the food industry, wound dressings, and tissue engineering are discussed. While significant progress has been achieved, challenges and prospects in optimizing synthesis, improving mechanical properties, and exploring new functionalities are discussed. Overall, this review highlights the remarkable properties of inulin-based hydrogels as a promising class of biomaterials with immense potential in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, and materials science fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System II)
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15 pages, 2887 KiB  
Review
Hyaluronic Acid-Based Nanocarriers for Anticancer Drug Delivery
by Chao-Ping Fu, Xing-Yu Cai, Si-Lin Chen, Hong-Wei Yu, Ying Fang, Xiao-Chen Feng, Li-Ming Zhang and Chang-Yong Li
Polymers 2023, 15(10), 2317; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15102317 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 5245
Abstract
Hyaluronic acid (HA), a main component of the extracellular matrix, is widely utilized to deliver anticancer drugs due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, non-immunogenicity and numerous modification sites, such as carboxyl and hydroxyl groups. Moreover, HA serves as a natural ligand for tumor-targeted [...] Read more.
Hyaluronic acid (HA), a main component of the extracellular matrix, is widely utilized to deliver anticancer drugs due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, non-immunogenicity and numerous modification sites, such as carboxyl and hydroxyl groups. Moreover, HA serves as a natural ligand for tumor-targeted drug delivery systems, as it contains the endocytic HA receptor, CD44, which is overexpressed in many cancer cells. Therefore, HA-based nanocarriers have been developed to improve drug delivery efficiency and distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissues, resulting in reduced residual toxicity and off-target accumulation. This article comprehensively reviews the fabrication of anticancer drug nanocarriers based on HA in the context of prodrugs, organic carrier materials (micelles, liposomes, nanoparticles, microbubbles and hydrogels) and inorganic composite nanocarriers (gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes and silicon dioxide). Additionally, the progress achieved in the design and optimization of these nanocarriers and their effects on cancer therapy are discussed. Finally, the review provides a summary of the perspectives, the lessons learned so far and the outlook towards further developments in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System II)
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