Jan 31, 2013
Silk protein fibroin-blended nanoparticles for drug delivery
Silk protein fibroin can be exploited for many drug-delivery and tissue-engineering applications. To increase stability and drug release rate, the material can be blended with albumin protein. Strong electrostatic interactions form between the carboxyl groups of silk fibroin and the amino groups of albumin. This prevents leakage of the drug, improves encapsulation, drug retention and influences release rate. The blending process also increases mechanical and biodegradable properties.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have successfully fabricated fibroin-blended nanoparticles. The nanoparticles are small in size and stable for a longer period of time in different media. FITC-labeled nanoparticles are able to reach the cells and reside in perinuclear space without any cytotoxicity.
The nanomaterial shows higher drug (methotrexate) encapsulation, loading efficiency and delayed drug release. It interacts with the cells and is retained at the site of action for a longer period of time, which is advantageous for sustained release.
The fibroin-blended nanoparticles loaded with the methotrexate drug could be promising nanocarriers for delivery to target sites. The nanomaterial could also carry other hydrophobic therapeutic agents for delivery to specific sites.
More detailed information about the study can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
This work is financially supported by the Department of Biotechnology, through its Bioinformatics SUB-DIC programme, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
About the author
Subia Bano is currently a PhD student under the guidance of Prof. S C Kundu at the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India. Subia is working on pure and blended silk fibroin for tissue engineering and drug-delivery applications. Prof. S C Kundu is the first Head of the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Kharagpur and Professor of Genetics. His research groups mainly focus on the investigation of natural silk protein from mulberry and Indian origin non-mulberry silk protein biomaterial for cell-based tissue engineering and biotechnological applications. Silk biomaterials matrices in different forms (2D films, 3D scaffolds, hydrogels and nanoparticles) are exploited for a range of applications including stem cell differentiation, drug delivery, in vitro tumor modeling and bio-memristor fabrication. For more information please see links (to the left).