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Ana Miklavžin, Mateja Cegnar, Janez Kerč and Julijana Kristl

Abstract

Oral delivery of protein drugs is greatly limited by low hydrophobicity, an important determinant for intestinal epithelial permeation and bioavailability. Herein, surface properties of recombinant erythropoietin were investigated using the fluorescent dye bis-ANS to monitor relative hydrophobicity for correlation with permeabilities with Caco-2 cells. At various pHs, bis-ANS fluorescence intensity indicated different surface hydrophobicities of erythropoietin molecules. Erythropoietin incorporated in chitosan or chitosan-trimethylchitosan (CS-TMC) nanoparticles prepared by polyelectrolyte complexation and ionotropic gelation with tripolyphosphate also showed different surface hydrophobicities. Chitosan nanoparticles with erythropoietin provided the most hydrophobic surface, followed by free erythropoietin (in water) and that loaded into CS-TMC nanoparticles. Chitosan nanoparticles were more effective than CS-TMC nanoparticles for permeation of erythropoietin across Caco-2 cell monolayers; the lowest permeability was shown by erythropoietin itself. Thus, hydrophilic protein molecules complexed with polyelectrolytes can provide more hydrophobic surfaces that enhance transepithelial permeability. This bis-ANS method also provides valuable information for the design of polyelectrolyte nanoparticules for oral delivery of protein drugs.

Open access

Jan Pelipenko, Julijana Kristl, Romana Rošic, Saša Baumgartner and Petra Kocbek

Interfacial rheology: An overview of measuring techniques and its role in dispersions and electrospinning

Interfacial rheological properties have yet to be thoroughly explored. Only recently, methods have been introduced that provide sufficient sensitivity to reliably determine viscoelastic interfacial properties. In general, interfacial rheology describes the relationship between the deformation of an interface and the stresses exerted on it. Due to the variety in deformations of the interfacial layer (shear and expansions or compressions), the field of interfacial rheology is divided into the subcategories of shear and dilatational rheology. While shear rheology is primarily linked to the long-term stability of dispersions, dilatational rheology provides information regarding short-term stability. Interfacial rheological characteristics become relevant in systems with large interfacial areas, such as emulsions and foams, and in processes that lead to a large increase in the interfacial area, such as electrospinning of nanofibers.

Open access

Romana Rošic, Petra Kocbek, Jan Pelipenko, Julijana Kristl and Saša Baumgartner

Abstract

The idea of creating replacement for damaged or diseased tissue, which will mimic the physiological conditions and simultaneously promote regeneration by patients’ own cells, has been a major challenge in the biomedicine for more than a decade. Therefore, nanofibers are a promising solution to address these challenges. These are solid polymer fibers with nanosized diameter, which show improved properties compared to the materials of larger dimensions or forms and therefore cause different biological responses. On the nanometric level, nanofibers provide a biomimetic environment, on the micrometric scale three-dimensional architecture with the desired surface properties regarding the intended application within the body, while on the macrometric scale mechanical strength and physiological acceptability. In the review, the development of nanofibers as tissue scaffolds, modern wound dressings for chronic wound therapy and drug delivery systems is highlighted. Research substantiates the effectiveness of nanofibers for enhanced tissue regeneration, but ascertains that evidences from clinical studies are currently lacking. Nevertheless, due to the development of nano- and bio-sciences, products on the market can be expected in the near future.