Core-shell nanofibers of curcumin/cyclodextrin inclusion complex and polylactic acid: Enhanced water solubility and slow release of curcumin

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Core-shell nanofibers were designed via electrospinning using inclusion complex (IC) of model hydrophobic drug (curcumin, CUR) with cyclodextrin (CD) in the core and polymer (polylactic acid, PLA) in the shell (cCUR/HPβCD-IC-sPLA-NF). CD-IC of CUR and HPβCD was formed at 1:2 molar ratio. The successful formation of core-shell nanofibers was revealed by TEM and CLSM images. cCUR/HPβCD-IC-sPLA-NF released CUR slowly but much more in total than PLA-CUR-NF at pH 1 and pH 7.4 due to the restriction of CUR in the core of nanofibers and solubility improvement shown in phase solubility diagram, respectively. Improved antioxidant activity of cCUR/HPβCD-IC-sPLA-NF in methanol:water (1:1) is related with the solubility enhancement achieved in water based system. The slow reaction of cCUR/HPβCD-IC-sPLA-NF in methanol is associated with the shell inhibiting the quick release of CUR. On the other hand, cCUR/HPβCD-IC-sPLA-NF exhibited slightly higher rate of antioxidant activity than PLA-CUR-NF in methanol:water (1:1) owing to the enhanced solubility. To conclude, slow release of CUR was achieved by core-shell nanofiber structure and inclusion complexation of CUR with HPβCD provides high solubility. Briefly, electrospinning of core-shell nanofibers with CD-IC core could offer slow release of drugs as well as solubility enhancement for hydrophobic drugs.

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