Introducing a highly dispersed reduced graphene oxide nano-biohybrid employing chitosan/hydroxyethyl cellulose for controlled drug delivery

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Graphical abstractIn this research, an attempt was made to stabilize reduced graphene oxide (rGO) in all pH ranges, incorporating both chitosan (CS) and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) to make a proper drug carrier with suitable stability and drug release behaviour. The stability of rGO-CS-HEC nanohybrid was assessed using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis) and Zeta potential measurements. Results depicted that the novel synthesized nanohybrid was stable in all pH ranges, due to the utilization of HEC, while without incorporation of this material, the rGO-CS nanohybrid aggregated at neutral and alkaline media, due to the ionic nature of chitosan. In addition, drug loading and release behaviour of folic acid (FA), as a model drug, was investigated to assess the role of chitosan on the release behaviour of FA from the rGO-CS-HEC nanohybrid in comparison with rGO-HEC and rGO-CS nanohybrids. It was proved that the resultant nanohybrid could release nearly 27% more FA than the rGO-HEC nanohybrid and only 9% lower than the rGO-CS nanohybrid during 120 h. Moreover, the biocompatibility of the resultant nanohybrid was also checked to introduce the novel rGO-CS-HEC nanohybrid as a suitable candidate for drug delivery application.

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