Fabrication and characterization of anisotropic nanofiber scaffolds for advanced drug delivery systems
Ghulam Jalani,* Chan Woo Jung,* Jae Sang Lee, Dong Woo Lim
Department of Bionano Engineering, College of Engineering Sciences, Hanyang University, Education Research Industry Cluster at Ansan Campus, Ansan, South Korea
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: Stimuli-responsive, polymer-based nanostructures with anisotropic compartments are of great interest as advanced materials because they are capable of switching their shape via environmentally-triggered conformational changes, while maintaining discrete compartments. In this study, a new class of stimuli-responsive, anisotropic nanofiber scaffolds with physically and chemically distinct compartments was prepared via electrohydrodynamic cojetting with side-by-side needle geometry. These nanofibers have a thermally responsive, physically-crosslinked compartment, and a chemically-crosslinked compartment at the nanoscale. The thermally responsive compartment is composed of physically crosslinkable poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) poly(NIPAM) copolymers, and poly(NIPAM-co-stearyl acrylate) poly(NIPAM-co-SA), while the thermally-unresponsive compartment is composed of polyethylene glycol dimethacrylates. The two distinct compartments were physically crosslinked by the hydrophobic interaction of the stearyl chains of poly(NIPAM-co-SA) or chemically stabilized via ultraviolet irradiation, and were swollen in physiologically relevant buffers due to their hydrophilic polymer networks. Bicompartmental nanofibers with the physically-crosslinked network of the poly(NIPAM-co-SA) compartment showed a thermally-triggered shape change due to thermally-induced aggregation of poly(NIPAM-co-SA). Furthermore, when bovine serum albumin and dexamethasone phosphate were separately loaded into each compartment, the bicompartmental nanofibers with anisotropic actuation exhibited decoupled, controlled release profiles of both drugs in response to a temperature. A new class of multicompartmental nanofibers could be useful for advanced nanofiber scaffolds with two or more drugs released with different kinetics in response to environmental stimuli.
Keywords: stimuli responsiveness, anisotropy, nanofibers, actuation, drug delivery, tissue engineering
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