Nanotechnology and Biomaterials in Drug Delivery System

A special issue of Journal of Functional Biomaterials (ISSN 2079-4983).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 4623

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Marche Polytechnic University, Department of Information Engineering; INFN- National Laboratory of Frascati
Interests: material science; nanotechnology; graphene; carbon nanostructures; biomedical application; raman spectroscopy; physical chemistry; polymer science; nanocarbon-based composites

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Guest Editor
INFN-Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, 00044 Frascati, Italy
Interests: carbon nanotubes; material sciences; nanotechnology; multifunctional materials; nano carbon; biomedical applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Drug delivery is an alternative method to conventional drug therapies and consists of the use of a carrier, or carriers, for the transport and controlled release of a drug within the body.

A drug delivery system is therefore composed of the drug, which must be transported, and a carrier that can be any substance that can bind the drug and improve its administration and efficiency.

Among the possible vectors that can be used in drug delivery systems, nanoparticles have aroused great interest. Nanoparticles are structures having at least one dimension of the order of the nanometer. The reasons nanoparticles are used for medical purposes are many and derive from their characteristics: the ability to adsorb and transport other compounds and their surface-to-mass ratio, which is much larger than that of other systems. In fact, nanoparticles have a relatively large surface that is able to bind, absorb, and transport compounds such as drugs.

Biomaterials have great potential applications, too. Biopolymer, forming nanoparticles, hydrogels, and nanocapsules have been used for drug delivery systems triggered by pH, temperature, and ionic stimuli.

The aim of this Special Issue is to consider all devices based on nanotechnology and biomaterials, with a particular emphasis on the development and use of new materials for drug delivery purposes. The use of new technologies is encouraged, and full characterization (microscopic, spectroscopic), including in vitro/in vivo tests, will be appreciated.

Dr. Antonino Cataldo
Prof. Stefano Bellucci
Guest Editors

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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. Journal of Functional Biomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2700 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.


  • Drug delivery systems
  • Nanoparticles
  • Biomaterials
  • Lyposome
  • Hydrogels
  • pH stimulus
  • Temperature stimulus

Published Papers (1 paper)

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30 pages, 10960 KiB  
Carbonate Apatite and Hydroxyapatite Formulated with Minimal Ingredients to Deliver SiRNA into Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo
by Rowshan Ara Islam, Hamed Al-Busaidi, Rahela Zaman, Syafiq Asnawi Zainal Abidin, Iekhsan Othman and Ezharul Hoque Chowdhury
J. Funct. Biomater. 2020, 11(3), 63; - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3607
Introduction: Cancer is one of the top-ranked noncommunicable diseases causing deaths to nine million people and affecting almost double worldwide in 2018. Tremendous advancement in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and targeted immunotherapy have improved the rate of cure and disease-free survival. As genetic mutations [...] Read more.
Introduction: Cancer is one of the top-ranked noncommunicable diseases causing deaths to nine million people and affecting almost double worldwide in 2018. Tremendous advancement in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and targeted immunotherapy have improved the rate of cure and disease-free survival. As genetic mutations vary in different cancers, potential of customized treatment to silence the problem gene/s at the translational level is being explored too. Yet delivering therapeutics at the required dosage only to the affected cells without affecting the healthy ones, is a big hurdle to be overcome. Scientists worldwide have been working to invent a smart drug delivery system for targeted delivery of therapeutics to tumor tissues only. As part of such an effort, few organic nanocarriers went to clinical trials, while inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) are still in development stage despite their many customizable properties. Carbonate apatite (CA), a pH sensitive nanocarrier has emerged as an efficient delivery system for drugs, plasmids and siRNAs in preclinical models of breast and colon cancers. Like hydroxyapatite (HA) which serves as a classical tool for delivery of genetic materials such as siRNA and plasmid, CA is an apatite-based synthetic carrier. We developed simplified methods of formulating CA-in-DMEM and a DMEM-mimicking buffer and HA in a HEPES-buffered solution and characterized them in terms of size, stability, protein corona (PC) composition, cytotoxicity, siRNA delivery efficiency in breast cancer cells and siRNA biodistribution profile in a mouse model of breast cancer. Methods: Particle growth was analyzed via spectrophotometry and light microscopy, size was measured via dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy and confirmation of functional groups in apatite structures was made by FT-IR. siRNA-binding was analyzed via spectrophotometry. Stability of the formulation solutions/buffers was tested over various time points and at different temperatures to determine their compatibility in the context of practical usage. Cellular uptake was studied via fluorescence microscopy. MTT assay was performed to measure the cytotoxicity of the NPs. Liquid chromatography—mass spectrometry was carried out to analyze the PC formed around all three different NPs in serum-containing media. To explore biodistribution of all the formulations, fluorescence-labeled siRNA-loaded NPs were administered intravenously prior to analysis of fluorescence intensity in the collected organs and tumors of the treated mice. Results: The size of NPs in 10% serum-containing media was dramatically different where CA-in-DMB and HA were much larger than CA-in-DMEM. Effect of media was notable on the PC composition of all three NPs. All three NPs bound albumin and some common protease inhibitors involved in bone metabolism due to their compositional similarity to our bone materials. Moreover, CA also bound heme-binding proteins and opsonins. Unlike CA, HA bound different kinds of keratins. Difference in PC constitution was likely to influence accumulation of NPs in various organs including those of reticuloendothelial system, such as liver and spleen and the tumor. We found 10 times more tumor accumulation of CA-in-DMB than CA-in-DMEM, which could be due to more stable siRNA-binding and distinct PC composition of the former. Conclusion: As a nanocarrier CA is more efficient than HA for siRNA delivery to the tumor. CA prepared in a buffer containing only the mere constituents was potentially more efficient than classical CA prepared in DMEM, owing to the exclusion of interference attributed by the inorganic ions and organic molecules present in DMEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology and Biomaterials in Drug Delivery System)
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