Special Issue "Polymeric Carriers for Delivery Systems in Biomedical Applications – in Memory of Professor Andrzej Dworak"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022 | Viewed by 9356

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marek Kowalczuk
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Iza Radecka
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Guest Editor
School of Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
Interests: biodegradable polymers form wastes; antimicrobials and bioactive compounds; hydrogels; probiotics; bioremediation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Barbara Trzebicka
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Guest Editor
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials Polish Academy of Sciences, Zabrze, Poland
Interests: physicochemical studies of stimuli sensitive polymers; amphiphilic polymers and their self-organization; polymers for biomedical applications; polymeric bioconjugates and carbon materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in the controlled release of bioactive substances using polymer drug-delivery systems. Polymeric drug delivery enables the introduction of a therapeutic substance into the body. A successful therapeutic outcome requires the appropriate consideration of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Among polymeric materials, both natural and synthetic polymers can be applied for controlled drug delivery under the condition that they possess the ability to be in contact with a living system without producing any adverse effects. This is especially so with biodegradable polymers, which are a suitable choice for numerous new drug-delivery systems.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the memory of late Professor Andrzej Dworak - scientist and friend.

It will cover recent advances in natural and synthetic polymeric materials with the desired physical, chemical, biological, biomechanical as well as degradation properties to match the various requirements of controlled drug delivery. Discussion of the manufacturing of the advanced polymeric materials and their application in the biomedical field is also welcome. It is our pleasure to invite you to contribute a manuscript to this Special Issue. Full research papers, short communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Marek Kowalczuk
Prof. Dr. Iza Radecka
Prof. Dr. Barbara Trzebicka
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Drug delivery system
  • Polymeric drug delivery
  • Viral vectors
  • Non-viral vectors
  • Forensic engineering of advanced polymer drug carriers

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Chitosan-Based Therapeutic Systems for Superficial Candidiasis Treatment. Synergetic Activity of Nystatin and Propolis
Polymers 2022, 14(4), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14040689 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 551
Abstract
The paper deals with new approaches to chitosan (CS)-based antifungal therapeutic formulations designed to fulfill the requirements of specific applications. Gel-like formulations were prepared by mixing CS dissolved in aqueous lactic acid (LA) solution with nystatin (NYS) powder and/or propolis (PRO) aqueous solution [...] Read more.
The paper deals with new approaches to chitosan (CS)-based antifungal therapeutic formulations designed to fulfill the requirements of specific applications. Gel-like formulations were prepared by mixing CS dissolved in aqueous lactic acid (LA) solution with nystatin (NYS) powder and/or propolis (PRO) aqueous solution dispersed in glycerin, followed by water evaporation to yield flexible mesoporous (pore widths of 2–4 nm) films of high specific surfaces between 1 × 103 and 1.7 × 103 m2/g. Morphological evaluation of the antifungal films showed uniform dispersion and downsizing of NYS crystallites (with initial sizes up to 50 μm). Their mechanical properties were found to be close to those of soft tissues (Young’s modulus values between 0.044–0.025 MPa). The films presented hydration capacities in physiological condition depending on their composition, i.e., higher for NYS-charged (628%), as compared with PRO loaded films (118–129%). All NYS charged films presented a quick release for the first 10 min followed by a progressive increase of the release efficiency at 48.6%, for the samples containing NYS alone and decreasing values with increasing amount of PRO to 45.9% and 42.8% after 5 h. By in vitro analysis, the hydrogels with acidic pH values around 3.8 were proven to be active against Candida albicans and Candida glabrata species. The time-killing assay performed during 24 h on Candida albicans in synthetic vagina-simulative medium showed that the hydrogel formulations containing both NYS and PRO presented the faster slowing down of the fungal growth, from colony-forming unit (CFU)/mL of 1.24 × 107 to CFU/mL < 10 (starting from the first 6 h). Full article
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Article
Reversible Protein Capture and Release by Redox-Responsive Hydrogel in Microfluidics
Polymers 2022, 14(2), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14020267 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 3594
Abstract
Stimuli-responsive hydrogels have a wide range of potential applications in microfluidics, which has drawn great attention. Double cross-linked hydrogels are very well suited for this application as they offer both stability and the required responsive behavior. Here, we report the integration of poly( [...] Read more.
Stimuli-responsive hydrogels have a wide range of potential applications in microfluidics, which has drawn great attention. Double cross-linked hydrogels are very well suited for this application as they offer both stability and the required responsive behavior. Here, we report the integration of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAAm) hydrogel with a permanent cross-linker (N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide, BIS) and a redox responsive reversible cross-linker (N,N′-bis(acryloyl)cystamine, BAC) into a microfluidic device through photopolymerization. Cleavage and re-formation of disulfide bonds introduced by BAC changed the cross-linking densities of the hydrogel dots, making them swell or shrink. Rheological measurements allowed for selecting hydrogels that withstand long-term shear forces present in microfluidic devices under continuous flow. Once implemented, the thiol-disulfide exchange allowed the hydrogel dots to successfully capture and release the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA). BSA was labeled with rhodamine B and functionalized with 2-(2-pyridyldithio)-ethylamine (PDA) to introduce disulfide bonds. The reversible capture and release of the protein reached an efficiency of 83.6% in release rate and could be repeated over 3 cycles within the microfluidic device. These results demonstrate that our redox-responsive hydrogel dots enable the dynamic capture and release of various different functionalized (macro)molecules (e.g., proteins and drugs) and have a great potential to be integrated into a lab-on-a-chip device for detection and/or delivery. Full article
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Article
Copolymer Involving 2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate and 2-Chloroquinyl Methacrylate: Synthesis, Characterization and In Vitro 2-Hydroxychloroquine Delivery Application
Polymers 2021, 13(23), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13234072 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The Poly(2-chloroquinyl methacrylate-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (CQMA-co-HEMA) drug carrier system was prepared with different compositions through a free-radical copolymerization route involving 2-chloroquinyl methacrylate (CQMA) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (HEMA) using azobisisobutyronitrile as the initiator. 2-Chloroquinyl methacrylate monomer (CQMA) was synthesized from 2-hydroxychloroquine [...] Read more.
The Poly(2-chloroquinyl methacrylate-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (CQMA-co-HEMA) drug carrier system was prepared with different compositions through a free-radical copolymerization route involving 2-chloroquinyl methacrylate (CQMA) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (HEMA) using azobisisobutyronitrile as the initiator. 2-Chloroquinyl methacrylate monomer (CQMA) was synthesized from 2-hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and methacryloyl chloride by an esterification reaction using triethylenetetramine as the catalyst. The structure of the CQMA and CQMA-co-HEMA copolymers was confirmed by a CHN elementary analysis, Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. The absence of residual aggregates of HCQ or HCQMA particles in the copolymers prepared was confirmed by a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and XR-diffraction (XRD) analyses. The gingival epithelial cancer cell line (Ca9-22) toxicity examined by a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay revealed that the grafting of HCQ onto PHEMA slightly affected (4.2–9.5%) the viability of the polymer carrier. The cell adhesion and growth on the CQMA-co-HEMA drug carrier specimens carried out by the (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) (MTT) assay revealed the best performance with the specimen containing 3.96 wt% HCQ. The diffusion of HCQ through the polymer matrix obeyed the Fickian model. The solubility of HCQ in different media was improved, in which more than 5.22 times of the solubility of HCQ powder in water was obtained. According to Belzer, the in vitro HCQ dynamic release revealed the best performance with the drug carrier system containing 4.70 wt% CQMA. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Hydrophobic Blocks of PEO-Containing Copolymers on Glyceryl Monooleate Lyotropic Liquid Crystalline Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2607; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162607 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 675
Abstract
The investigation of properties of amphiphilic block copolymers as stabilizers for non-lamellar lyotropic liquid crystalline nanoparticles represents a fundamental issue for the formation, stability and upgraded functionality of these nanosystems. The aim of this work is to use amphiphilic block copolymers, not studied [...] Read more.
The investigation of properties of amphiphilic block copolymers as stabilizers for non-lamellar lyotropic liquid crystalline nanoparticles represents a fundamental issue for the formation, stability and upgraded functionality of these nanosystems. The aim of this work is to use amphiphilic block copolymers, not studied before, as stabilizers of glyceryl monooleate 1-(cis-9-octadecenoyl)-rac-glycerol (GMO) colloidal dispersions. Nanosystems were prepared with the use of poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(lactic acid) (PEO-b-PLA) and poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(5-methyl-5-ethyloxycarbonyl-1,3-dioxan-2-one) (PEO-b-PMEC) block copolymers. Different GMO:polymer molar ratios lead to formulation of nanoparticles with different size and internal organization, depending on the type of hydrophobic block. Resveratrol was loaded into the nanosystems as a model hydrophobic drug. The physicochemical and morphological characteristics of the prepared nanosystems were investigated by dynamic light scattering (DLS), cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The studies allowed the description of the lyotropic liquid crystalline nanoparticles and evaluation of impact of copolymer composition on these nanosystems. The structures formed in GMO:block copolymer colloidal dispersions were compared with those discussed previously. The investigations broaden the toolbox of polymeric stabilizers for the development of this type of hybrid polymer/lipid nanostructures. Full article
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Article
HPMA-Based Polymer Conjugates for Repurposed Drug Mebendazole and Other Imidazole-Based Therapeutics
Polymers 2021, 13(15), 2530; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13152530 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 640
Abstract
Recently, the antitumor potential of benzimidazole anthelmintics, such as mebendazole and its analogues, have been reported to have minimal side effects, in addition to their well-known anti-parasitic abilities. However, their administration is strongly limited owing to their extremely poor solubility, which highly depletes [...] Read more.
Recently, the antitumor potential of benzimidazole anthelmintics, such as mebendazole and its analogues, have been reported to have minimal side effects, in addition to their well-known anti-parasitic abilities. However, their administration is strongly limited owing to their extremely poor solubility, which highly depletes their overall bioavailability. This study describes the design, synthesis, and physico-chemical properties of polymer-mebendazole nanomedicines for drug repurposing in cancer therapy. The conjugation of mebendazole to water-soluble and biocompatible polymer carrier was carried out via biodegradable bond, relying on the hydrolytic action of lysosomal hydrolases for mebendazole release inside the tumor cells. Five low-molecular-weight mebendazole derivatives, differing in their inner structure, and two polymer conjugates differing in their linker structure, were synthesized. The overall synthetic strategy was designed to enable the modification and polymer conjugation of most benzimidazole-based anthelmintics, such as albendazole, fenbendazole or albendazole, besides the mebendazole. Furthermore, the described methodology may be suitable for conjugation of other biologically active compounds with a heterocyclic N-H group in their molecules. Full article
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Article
PnBA-b-PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA Thermo-Responsive Triblock Terpolymers and Their Quaternized Analogs as Gene and Drug Delivery Vectors
Polymers 2021, 13(14), 2361; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13142361 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
In this work, the ability of thermo-responsive poly [butyl acrylate-b-N-isopropylacrylamide-b-2-(dimethylamino) ethyl acrylate] (PnBA-b-PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA) triblock terpolymer self-assemblies, as well as of their quaternized analogs (PnBA-b-PNIPAM-b-QPDMAEA), to form polyplexes with DNA through electrostatic interactions was examined. Terpolymer/DNA polyplexes were prepared in three different amine over [...] Read more.
In this work, the ability of thermo-responsive poly [butyl acrylate-b-N-isopropylacrylamide-b-2-(dimethylamino) ethyl acrylate] (PnBA-b-PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA) triblock terpolymer self-assemblies, as well as of their quaternized analogs (PnBA-b-PNIPAM-b-QPDMAEA), to form polyplexes with DNA through electrostatic interactions was examined. Terpolymer/DNA polyplexes were prepared in three different amine over phosphate group ratios (N/P), and linear DNA with a 2000 base pair length was used. In aqueous solutions, the terpolymers formed aggregates of micelles with mixed PNIPAM/(Q)PDMAEA coronas and PnBA cores. The PnBA-b-PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA terpolymers’ micellar aggregates were also examined as carriers for the model hydrophobic drug curcumin (CUR). The complexation ability of the terpolymer with DNA was studied by UV–Vis spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy by investigating ethidium bromide quenching. Fluorescence was also used for the determination of the intrinsic fluorescence of the CUR-loaded micellar aggregates. The structural characteristics of the polyplexes and the CUR-loaded aggregates were investigated by dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering techniques. Polyplexes were found to structurally respond to changes in solution temperature and ionic strength, while the intrinsic fluorescence of encapsulated CUR was increased at temperatures above ambient. Full article
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Article
Citrate-Coated Magnetic Polyethyleneimine Composites for Plasmid DNA Delivery into Glioblastoma
Polymers 2021, 13(14), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13142228 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 972
Abstract
Several ternary composites that are based on branched polyethyleneimine (bPEI 25 kDa, polydispersity 2.5, 0.1 or 0.2 ng), citrate-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (citrate-NPs, 8–10 nm, 0.1, 1.0, or 2.5 µg), and reporter circular plasmid DNA pEGFP-C1 or pRL-CMV (pDNA 0.5 µg) [...] Read more.
Several ternary composites that are based on branched polyethyleneimine (bPEI 25 kDa, polydispersity 2.5, 0.1 or 0.2 ng), citrate-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (citrate-NPs, 8–10 nm, 0.1, 1.0, or 2.5 µg), and reporter circular plasmid DNA pEGFP-C1 or pRL-CMV (pDNA 0.5 µg) were studied for optimization of the best composite for transfection into glioblastoma U87MG or U138MG cells. The efficiency in terms of citrate-NP and plasmid DNA gene delivery with the ternary composites could be altered by tuning the bPEI/citrate-NP ratios in the polymer composites, which were characterized by Prussian blue staining, in vitro magnetic resonance imaging as well as green fluorescence protein and luciferase expression. Among the composites prepared, 0.2 ng bPEI/0.5 μg pDNA/1.0 µg citrate-NP ternary composite possessed the best cellular uptake efficiency. Composite comprising 0.1 ng bPEI/0.5 μg pDNA/0.1 μg citrate-NP gave the optimal efficiency for the cellular uptake of the two plasmid DNAs to the nucleus. The best working bPEI concentration range should not exceed 0.2 ng/well to achieve a relatively low cytotoxicity. Full article
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