Mar 10, 2009
Carbon nanotube-based polyoxometalates deliver
Compared with traditional organic antitumor drugs, polyoxometalates (POMs) are less expensive and amenable to scale-up for their therapeutic applications. However, their poor stability in physiologically relevant pH environments is the major drawback.
Taking the advantage of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as a drug-delivery system, researchers led by Zhaoxia Jin at Renmin University of China have developed a novel "cargo vessel" for POMs to improve their stability. Through the layer-by-layer self-assembly of oppositely charged POM-modified SWNTs and biodegradable chitosan, the group has fabricated multilayer thin films for stabilizing POMs and enabling controlled release. The (POM-SWNTs/chitosan)n multilayer thin films present a higher loading capacity of POMs in chitosan and a suppressed burst release of POMs in physiological pH environments. Another benefit of the constructed delivery system relates to the use of enzyme-responsive biodegradable chitosan, which means that this system can be gradually degraded by a specific enzyme.
The group believes that its (POM-SWNTs/chitosan)n thin films may provide a new path to the construction implantable drug release systems.
The researchers presented their work in Nanotechnology .
About the author
Dr Zhaoxia Jin is currently an associate professor at the Department of Chemistry, Renmin University of China. She obtained her PhD in polymer science in 2002 from the National University of Singapore, and then became a postdoctoral fellow focusing on polyacetylene nanowires at the School of Physics, Seoul National University. She joined the Department of Chemistry, Renmin University of China in 2004. Her present research areas include the fabrication of carbon nanotube/polymer composites and their applications in biomedicine, the interfacial properties of polymers and the development of new routes to various functional polymer nanostructures.