Special Issue "Polymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Pedro Fonte
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Centre for Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
2. iBB - Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: drug delivery; nanomedicine; protein delivery; protein characterization; freeze-drying; biopharmaceutical; tissue engineering; wound healing; biomaterials; translational medicine
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymer nanoparticles are versatile carriers for the delivery of drugs through different delivery routes. This versatility turns them into excellent tools for the development of innovative drug delivery systems. In fact, they can deliver different types of drugs such as conventional drugs, proteins, and nucleic acids in a sustained, controlled, or targeted manner, while simultaneously protecting the stability of the loaded drug. In particular, active and passive targeting can improve the therapeutic effect of drugs and decrease their systemic toxicity, which is very important in the treatment of severe diseases such as cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and others.

Polymers from natural (e.g., alginate, chitosan, cellulose, etc.) or synthetic (e. g. PLA, PLGA, PEG, etc.) sources can be used individually or combined to tailor-make polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. Different production techniques such as solvent diffusion, solvent evaporation, nanoprecipitation, dialysis, spray-drying, and emulsification can be used to produce polymer-based nanoparticles. When focusing on drug delivery, the biocompatibility and toxicity of the delivery system are two important aspects to address.

Other strategies, like the combination with other materials or the use of polymers responsive to stimuli such as light, temperature, pH, electric field, are promising approaches to developing polymer-based nanoparticles for the delivery of drugs and the enhancement of the therapeutic outcome of therapies.

This Special Issue aims to provide an overview about the recent advances in the delivery of drugs using polymer-based nanoparticles, focusing on promising strategies for the improvement of therapies and of patients’ quality of life.

As the Guest Editor, I cordially invite all researchers to contribute original research articles or reviews on this important and exciting research field.

Dr. Pedro Fonte
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Polymer nanoparticle
  • Drug delivery
  • Biopharmaceutical
  • Protein delivery
  • Nanomedicine
  • Biomaterial
  • Nucleic acid
  • Natural polymer
  • Synthetic polymer
  • Nanocomposite

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Hyaluronate Functionalized Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Loaded with Carboplatin Enhance Cytotoxicity on Human Cancer Cell Lines
Materials 2021, 14(13), 3622; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma14133622 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Cancer is a major global public health problem and conventional chemotherapy has several adverse effects and deficiencies. As a valuable option for chemotherapy, nanomedicine requires novel agents to increase the effects of antineoplastic drugs in multiple cancer models. Since its discovery, carbon nanotubes [...] Read more.
Cancer is a major global public health problem and conventional chemotherapy has several adverse effects and deficiencies. As a valuable option for chemotherapy, nanomedicine requires novel agents to increase the effects of antineoplastic drugs in multiple cancer models. Since its discovery, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are intensively investigated for their use as carriers in drug delivery applications. This study shows the development of a nanovector generated with commercial carbon nanotubes (cCNTs) that were oxidized (oxCNTs) and chemically functionalized with hyaluronic acid (HA) and loaded with carboplatin (CPT). The nanovector, oxCNTs–HA–CPT, was used as a treatment against HeLa and MDA–MB-231 human tumor cell lines. The potential antineoplastic impact of the fabricated nanovector was evaluated in human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) and mammary adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231). The oxCNTs–HA–CPT nanovector demonstrate to have a specific antitumor effect in vitro. The functionalization with HA allows that nanovector bio–directed towards tumor cells, while the toxicity effect is attributed mainly to CPT in a dose-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications)
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Article
Graphene Oxide Topical Administration: Skin Permeability Studies
Materials 2021, 14(11), 2810; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma14112810 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 831
Abstract
Nanostructured carriers have been widely used in pharmaceutical formulations for dermatological treatment. They offer targeted drug delivery, sustained release, improved biostability, and low toxicity, usually presenting advantages over conventional formulations. Due to its large surface area, small size and photothermal properties, graphene oxide [...] Read more.
Nanostructured carriers have been widely used in pharmaceutical formulations for dermatological treatment. They offer targeted drug delivery, sustained release, improved biostability, and low toxicity, usually presenting advantages over conventional formulations. Due to its large surface area, small size and photothermal properties, graphene oxide (GO) has the potential to be used for such applications. Nanographene oxide (GOn) presented average sizes of 197.6 ± 11.8 nm, and a surface charge of −39.4 ± 1.8 mV, being stable in water for over 6 months. 55.5% of the mass of GOn dispersion (at a concentration of 1000 µg mL−1) permeated the skin after 6 h of exposure. GOn dispersions have been shown to absorb near-infrared radiation, reaching temperatures up to 45.7 °C, within mild the photothermal therapy temperature range. Furthermore, GOn in amounts superior to those which could permeate the skin were shown not to affect human skin fibroblasts (HFF-1) morphology or viability, after 24 h of incubation. Due to its large size, no skin permeation was observed for graphite particles in aqueous dispersions stabilized with Pluronic P-123 (Gt–P-123). Altogether, for the first time, Gon’s potential as a topic administration agent and for delivery of photothermal therapy has been demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications)
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Review

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Review
Nanocarrier-Mediated Topical Insulin Delivery for Wound Healing
Materials 2021, 14(15), 4257; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma14154257 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 634
Abstract
Wound care has been clinically demanding due to inefficacious treatment that represents an economic burden for healthcare systems. In Europe, approximately 7 million people are diagnosed with untreated wounds, leading to a cost between 6.000€ and 10.000€ per patient/year. In the United States [...] Read more.
Wound care has been clinically demanding due to inefficacious treatment that represents an economic burden for healthcare systems. In Europe, approximately 7 million people are diagnosed with untreated wounds, leading to a cost between 6.000€ and 10.000€ per patient/year. In the United States of America, 1.5 million people over 65 years old suffer from chronic wounds. A promising therapeutic strategy is the use of exogenous growth factors because they are decreased at the wound site, limiting the recovery of the skin. Insulin is one of the cheapest growth factors in the market able to accelerate the re-epithelialization and stimulate angiogenesis and cell migration. However, the effectiveness of topical insulin in wound healing is hampered by the proteases in the wound bed. The encapsulation into nanoparticles improves its stability in the wound, providing adhesion to the mucosal surface and allowing its sustained release. The aim of this review is to perform a standing point about a promising strategy to treat different types of wounds by the topical delivery of insulin-loaded nanocarriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications)
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Review
Non-Ionic Surfactants for Stabilization of Polymeric Nanoparticles for Biomedical Uses
Materials 2021, 14(12), 3197; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma14123197 - 10 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Surfactants are essential in the manufacture of polymeric nanoparticles by emulsion formation methods and to preserve the stability of carriers in liquid media. The deposition of non-ionic surfactants at the interface allows a considerable reduction of the globule of the emulsion with high [...] Read more.
Surfactants are essential in the manufacture of polymeric nanoparticles by emulsion formation methods and to preserve the stability of carriers in liquid media. The deposition of non-ionic surfactants at the interface allows a considerable reduction of the globule of the emulsion with high biocompatibility and the possibility of oscillating the final sizes in a wide nanometric range. Therefore, this review presents an analysis of the three principal non-ionic surfactants utilized in the manufacture of polymeric nanoparticles; polysorbates, poly(vinyl alcohol), and poloxamers. We included a section on general properties and uses and a comprehensive compilation of formulations with each principal non-ionic surfactant. Then, we highlight a section on the interaction of non-ionic surfactants with biological barriers to emphasize that the function of surfactants is not limited to stabilizing the dispersion of nanoparticles and has a broad impact on pharmacokinetics. Finally, the last section corresponds to a recommendation in the experimental approach for choosing a surfactant applying the systematic methodology of Quality by Design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Diflunisal Targeted Delivery Systems Based on Polymer Carriers: A Review
Authors: Petr Snetkov; Svetlana Morozkina; Roman Olekhnovich; Mayya Uspenskaya
Affiliation: ITMO University, Kronverkskiy Prospekt, 49A, 197101 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Abstract: Currently, there are a large number of rare diseases that require a personalized approach based not only on unique drugs, but also on systems for their targeted delivery. The amyloidosis, the main target of which is the heart, is only 4.5 cases per 100 thousand people. One of the recognized drugs for the treatment of cardiac amyloidosis is diflunisal, successfully used as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical agent. However, the clinical and practical use of diflunisal is mainly restricted by its poor solubility in water. The incorporation of diflunisal into polymer carriers is one of the possible methods to improve its solubility and stability, as well as to maintain the constant, controlled, and sustained drug release. In the present review the attention is given to recent development of diflunisal-loaded polymer nanocarriers, its technology, release profiles, and effectiveness.

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