Novel core-corona hybrid nanomaterials based on the conjugation of amphiphilic polymeric diblocks to the surface of multifunctional nanodiamond anchors

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Journal Article
Materials Today Chemistry, 2017, 3 pp. 15 - 26
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The poor aqueous solubility and the physicochemical instability of many marketed drugs and new chemical entities is one of the most challenging issues in pharmaceutical research and development. Polymeric micelles (PMs) are produced by the self-assembly of polymeric amphiphiles and they represent one of the most extensively investigated nanotechnology platforms for encapsulation, delivery and targeting of hydrophobic drugs. However, a main challenge is preventing their disassembly under extreme dilution in the body fluids, which leads to uncontrolled release of the encapsulated cargo. In this work, we developed an amphiphilic nanomaterial that resembles the core-corona architecture of a PM with superior stability in the body fluids. Specifically, we utilized carboxylated nanodiamonds (cNDs) as particulate anchors to covalently link amphiphilic diblock copolymers consisting of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(ethylene glycol) monomethyl ether (PEG) as hydrophobic and hydrophilic components, respectively. We confirmed a successful core-corona nanostructure using various characterization techniques. In addition, TEM revealed the presence of a thin polymeric layer. Then, the cell compatibility was evaluated in Caco2 cell monolayers, an in vitro model of the intestinal epithelium. Finally, the encapsulation of the hydrophobic anti-helmintic drug nitazoxanide was studied. Cargoes as high as 17.5% w/w were achieved and the sustained release of the cargo according to the Korsmeyer-Peppas model demonstrated in vitro. Overall, preliminary results highlight the potential of this novel approach to extend the applicability of PMs in drug delivery.
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