Carboxymethyl chitosan/phospholipid bilayer-capped mesoporous carbon nanoparticles with pH-responsive and prolonged release properties for oral delivery of the antitumor drug, Docetaxel

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In this article, a new type of carboxymethyl chitosan/phospholipid bilayer-capped mesoporous carbon nanomatrix (CCS/PL/MC) was fabricated as a potential nano-drug delivery system. In this drug delivery system, a mesoporous carbon nanomatrix (MC) acts as the support for loading drug molecules, a positively charged phospholipid (PL) layer works as the inner shell for prolonged drug release and a negatively charged carboxymethyl chitosan (CCS) layer serves as the outer shell for pH-responsive drug release. Docetaxel (DTX) was selected as a model drug. The drug-loaded CCS/PL/MC was synthesized via a combination approach of double emulsion/solvent evaporation followed by lyophilization. The drug-loaded nanoparticles were characterized for their particle size, structure, morphology, zeta (ζ)-potential, specific surface area, porosity, drug loading and solid state. In vitro drug release tests showed that the drug-loaded CCS/PL/MC nanoparticles possess a good pH-sensitivity and prolonged releasing ability with negligible release in gastric media and controlled release in intestinal media. Compared with MC and PL-capped MC, CCS/PL/MC had a greater mucoadhesiveness. Moreover, cellular uptake study indicated that CCS/PL/MC might improve intracellular drug delivery. These results suggest that this hybrid nanocarrier, combining the beneficial features of CCS, PL and MC, is a promising drug delivery system able to improve the oral absorption of antitumor drugs.Graphical abstractHighlightsA novel carboxymethyl chitosan/phospholipid bilayer-capped mesoporous carbon nanomatrix (CCS/PL/MC) was fabricated.The feasibility of CCS/PL/MC as an oral anticancer drug delivery system was studied.CCS/PL/MC nanoparticles possess a pH-sensitivity and prolonged releasing ability.The mechanism of modulating the in vitro drug release and improving the drug solubility was investigated.CCS/PL/MC nanoparticles might improve intracellular drug delivery.

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