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Journal: International journal of nanomedicine


Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were prepared using a sonochemical method under atmospheric conditions at a Fe(2+) to Fe(3+) molar ratio of 1:2. The iron oxide nanoparticles were subsequently coated with chitosan and gallic acid to produce a core-shell structure.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Iron oxide, Magnetite, Gallic acid


Three-dimensional biomimetic scaffolds have widespread applications in biomedical tissue engineering because of their nanoscaled architecture, eg, nanofibers and nanopores, similar to the native extracellular matrix. In the conventional “top-down” approach, cells are seeded onto a biocompatible and biodegradable scaffold, in which cells are expected to populate in the scaffold and create their own extracellular matrix. The top-down approach based on these scaffolds has successfully engineered thin tissues, including skin, bladder, and cartilage in vitro. However, it is still a challenge to fabricate complex and functional tissues (eg, liver and kidney) due to the lack of vascularization systems and limited diffusion properties of these large biomimetic scaffolds. The emerging “bottom-up” method may hold great potential to address these challenges, and focuses on fabricating microscale tissue building blocks with a specific microarchitecture and assembling these units to engineer larger tissue constructs from the bottom up. In this review, state-of-the-art methods for fabrication of three-dimensional biomimetic scaffolds are presented, and their advantages and drawbacks are discussed. The bottom-up methods used to assemble microscale building blocks (eg, microscale hydrogels) for tissue engineering are also reviewed. Finally, perspectives on future development of the bottom-up approach for tissue engineering are addressed.

Concepts: Extracellular matrix, Engineering, Tissues, Tissue engineering, Tissue, Biomedical engineering, Top-down and bottom-up design, Software development process


We investigated flexible liposomes as a potential oral drug delivery system. However, enhanced membrane fluidity and structural deformability may necessitate liposomal surface modification when facing the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. In the present study, silica-coated flexible liposomes loaded with curcumin (CUR-SLs) having poor water solubility as a model drug were prepared by a thin-film method with homogenization, followed by the formation of a silica shell by the sol-gel process. We systematically investigated the physical properties, drug release behavior, pharmacodynamics, and bioavailability of CUR-SLs. CUR-SLs had a mean diameter of 157 nm and a polydispersity index of 0.14, while the apparent entrapment efficiency was 90.62%. Compared with curcumin-loaded flexible liposomes (CUR-FLs) without silica-coatings, CUR-SLs had significantly higher stability against artificial gastric fluid and showed more sustained drug release in artificial intestinal fluid as determined by in vitro release assays. The bioavailability of CUR-SLs and CUR-FLs was 7.76- and 2.35-fold higher, respectively, than that of curcumin suspensions. Silica coating markedly improved the stability of flexible liposomes, and CUR-SLs exhibited a 3.31-fold increase in bioavailability compared with CUR-FLs, indicating that silica-coated flexible liposomes may be employed as a potential carrier to deliver drugs with poor water solubility via the oral route with improved bioavailability.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Sol-gel, Drugs, Membrane biology, Medicinal chemistry, Pharmacokinetics, Biopharmaceutics Classification System, Digestion


The aim of this study was to develop an immediate-release pellet formulation with improved drug dissolution and adsorption. Carbamazepine, a poorly water-soluble drug, was adsorbed into mesoporous silica (SBA-15-CBZ) via a wetness impregnation method and then processed by extrusion/spheronization into pellets. Physicochemical characterization of the preparation was carried out by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption, small-angle and wide-angle x-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry. Flowability and wettability of the drug-loaded silica powder were evaluated by bulk and tapped density and by the angle of repose and contact angle, respectively. The drug-loaded silica powder was formulated into pellets to improve flowability.

Concepts: Electron, X-ray, Adsorption, Wetting, Materials science, Scientific techniques, Transmission electron microscopy, Scanning electron microscope


In this paper work, four naked nanocrystals (size range 80-700 nm) were prepared without any surfactant or polymer using the solvent/nonsolvent method. The effects of particle size on their solubility, dissolution, and oral bioavailability were investigated. Solubility and dissolution testing were performed in three types of dissolution medium, and the studies demonstrated that the equilibrium solubilities of coenzyme Q(10) nanocrystals and bulk drugs were not affected by the dissolution media but the kinetic solubilities were. Kinetic solubility curves and changes in particle size distribution were determined and well explained by the proposed solubilization model for the nanocrystals and bulk drugs. The particle size effect on dissolution was clearly influenced by the diffusion coefficients of the various dissolution media, and the dissolution velocity of coenzyme Q(10) increased as particle size decreased. The bioavailability of coenzyme Q(10) after oral administration in beagle dogs was improved by reducing the particle size. For 700 nm nanocrystals, the AUC(0-48) was 4.4-fold greater than that for the coarse suspensions, but a further decrease in particle size from 700 nm to 120 nm did not contribute to improvement in bioavailability until the particle size was reduced to 80 nm, when bioavailability was increased by 7.3-fold.

Concepts: Improve, Effect, Solubility, Affect, Particle size distribution, Biopharmaceutics Classification System, Solvation, Colloidal chemistry


The objective of this study was to prepare a suitable formulation for dermal delivery of diflucortolone valerate (DFV) that would maintain the localization in skin layers without any penetration and to optimize efficiency of DFV. Drug-loaded lecithin/chitosan nanoparticles with high entrapment efficiency (86.8%), were successfully prepared by ionic interaction technique. Sustained release of DFV was achieved without any initial burst release. Nanoparticles were also incorporated into chitosan gel at different ratios for preparing a more suitable formulation for topical drug delivery with adequate viscosity. In ex-vivo permeation studies, nanoparticles increased the accumulation of DFV especially in the stratum corneum + epidermis of rat skin without any significant permeation. Retention of DFV from nanoparticle in chitosan gel formulation (0.01%) was twofold higher than commercial cream, although it contained ten times less DFV. Nanoparticles in gel formulations produced significantly higher edema inhibition in rats compared with commercial cream in in-vivo studies. Skin blanching assay using a chromameter showed vasoconstriction similar to that of the commercial product. There were no barrier function changes upon application of nanoparticles. In-vitro and in-vivo results demonstrated that lecithin/chitosan nanoparticles in chitosan gel may be a promising carrier for dermal delivery of DFV in various skin disorders.

Concepts: Colloid, Skin, Topical, Dermis, Epidermis, Keratin, Stratum corneum, Topical steroid


To study the effects of varying lipid concentrations, lipid and oil ratio, and the addition of propylene glycol and lecithin on the long-term physical stability of nanostructured lipid nanocarriers (NLC), skin hydration, and transepidermal water loss.

Concepts: Effect, Effects unit, Propylene glycol


Titanium is one of the most widely used materials for orthopedic implants, yet it has exhibited significant complications in the short and long term, largely resulting from poor cell-material interactions. Among these many modes of failure, bacterial infection at the site of implantation has become a greater concern with the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Nanostructured surfaces have been found to prevent bacterial colonization on many surfaces, including nanotextured titanium. In many cases, specific nanoscale roughness values and resulting surface energies have been considered to be “bactericidal”; here, we explore the use of ion beam evaporation as a novel technique to create nanoscale topographical features that can reduce bacterial density. Specifically, we investigated the relationship between the roughness and titanium nanofeature shapes and sizes, in which smaller, more regularly spaced nanofeatures (specifically 40-50 nm tall peaks spaced ~0.25 μm apart) were found to have more effect than surfaces with high roughness values alone.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Infection, Antibiotic resistance, Microorganism, Penicillin, Topography


The interaction between silver nanoparticles and viruses is attracting great interest due to the potential antiviral activity of these particles, and is the subject of much research effort in the treatment of infectious diseases. In this work, we demonstrate that silver nanoparticles undergo a size-dependent interaction with herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 and with human parainfluenza virus type 3. We show that production of silver nanoparticles from different fungi is feasible, and their antiviral activity is dependent on the production system used. Silver nanoparticles are capable of reducing viral infectivity, probably by blocking interaction of the virus with the cell, which might depend on the size and zeta potential of the silver nanoparticles. Smaller-sized nanoparticles were able to inhibit the infectivity of the viruses analyzed.

Concepts: Microbiology, Virus, Infection, Herpes simplex virus, Herpesviridae, Herpes simplex, Viruses, Common cold


Staurosporine (STS) is a potent pan-kinase inhibitor with marked activity against several chemotherapy-resistant tumor types in vitro. The translational progress of this compound has been hindered by poor pharmacokinetics and toxicity. We sought to determine whether liposomal encapsulation of STS would enhance antitumor efficacy and reduce toxicity, thereby supporting the feasibility of further preclinical development. We developed a novel reverse pH gradient liposomal loading method for STS, with an optimal buffer type and drug-to-lipid ratio. Our approach produced 70% loading efficiency with good retention, and we provide, for the first time, an assessment of the in vivo antitumor activity of STS. A low intravenous dose (0.8 mg/kg) inhibited U87 tumors in a murine flank model. Biodistribution showed preferential tumor accumulation, and body weight data, a sensitive index of STS toxicity, was unaffected by liposomal STS, but did decline with the free compound. In vitro experiments revealed that liposomal STS blocked Akt phosphorylation, induced poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, and produced cell death via apoptosis. This study provides a basis to explore further the feasibility of liposomally encapsulated STS, and potentially related compounds for the management of resistant solid tumors.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Signal transduction, In vivo, Tumor, Protein kinase, In vitro