Titanate nanotube (TNT) has recently been explored as a new carrier material for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). The aim of the present work was to reveal the physicochemical properties of API-TNT composites, focusing on the interactions between the TNTs and the incorporated APIs. Drugs belonging to different Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS) classes were loaded into TNTs: diltiazem hydrochloride (BCS I.), diclofenac sodium (BCS II.), atenolol (BCS III.) and hydrochlorothiazide (BCS IV.).
Experimental results demonstrated that it is feasible for spiral cross-sectioned titanate nanotubes to carry drugs and maintain their bioactivity. The structural properties of the composites were characterized by a range of analytical techniques, including FT-IR, DSC, TG–MS, etc. The interactions between APIs and TNTs were identified as electrostatic attractions, mainly dominated by hydrogen bonds. Based on the results, it can be stated that the strength of the association depends on the hydrogen donor strength of the API. The drug release of incorporated APIs was evaluated from compressed tablets and compared to that of pure APIs. Differences noticed in the dissolution profiles due to incorporation showed a correlation with the strength of interactions between the APIs and the TNTs observed in the above analytical studies.