Comparative Nanofabrication of PLGA-Chitosan-PEG Systems Employing Microfluidics and Emulsification Solvent Evaporation Techniques

Authors: D. Essa, Y.E. Choonara, P.P.D. Kondiah and V. Pillay

Journal: polymers

DOI: 10.3390/polym12091882

Publication - Abstract

August 21, 2020


Poor circulation stability and inadequate cell membrane penetration are significant impediments in the implementation of nanocarriers as delivery systems for therapeutic agents with low bioavailability. This research discusses the fabrication of a biocompatible poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) based nanocarrier with cationic and hydrophilic surface properties provided by natural polymer chitosan and coating polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG) for the entrapment of the hydrophobic drug disulfiram. The traditional emulsification solvent evaporation method was compared to a microfluidics-based method of fabrication, with the optimisation of the parameters for each method, and the PEGylation densities on the experimental nanoparticle formulations were varied. The size and surface properties of the intermediates and products were characterised and compared by dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, while the thermal properties were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. Results showed optimal particle properties with an intermediate PEG density and a positive surface charge for greater biocompatibility, with nanoparticle surface characteristics shielding physical interaction of the entrapped drug with the exterior. The formulations prepared using the microfluidic method displayed superior surface charge, entrapment and drug release properties. The final system shows potential as a component of a biocompatible nanocarrier for poorly soluble drugs.

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