Drug release from nanoparticles embedded in four different nanofibrillar cellulose aerogels

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Highly porous nanocellulose aerogels prepared by freeze-drying from various nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) hydrogels are introduced as nanoparticle reservoirs for oral drug delivery systems. Here we show that beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) nanoparticles coated with amphiphilic hydrophobin proteins can be well integrated into the NFC aerogels. NFCs from four different origins are introduced and compared to microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). The nanocellulose aerogel scaffolds made from red pepper (RC) and MCC release the drug immediately, while bacterial cellulose (BC), quince seed (QC) and TEMPO-oxidized birch cellulose-based (TC) aerogels show sustained drug release. Since the release of the drug is controlled by the structure and interactions between the nanoparticles and the cellulose matrix, modulation of the matrix formers enable a control of the drug release rate. These nanocomposite structures can be very useful in many pharmaceutical nanoparticle applications and open up new possibilities as carriers for controlled drug delivery.

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