PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MULTIFUNCTIONAL NANO AND MICRO PARTICLES FOR DRUG DELIVERY
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We hypothesize that a multifunctional nano/micro particulate drug delivery approach utilizing combinational radiofrequency (RF) heating and chemotherapeutic agents will provide a safe and effective treatment options for cancer therapy. Methods: Ethylcellulose microspheres containing iron and the pluronic/glycerylmonooleate (GMO) iron nanoparticles were prepared by a modified emulsion-solvent evaporation method. Iron content was determined using UV vis spectrometry; particle size of the microspheres was determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy. Surface charge (zeta potential) and particle size of the nano particles were measured by a zetameter. Particles containing iron was exposed to external RF (radiofrequency). The temperature was monitored as a function of RF exposure time and power by use of a FOT Fluoroptic Lab Kit (Luxtron Corp, Santa Clara, CA). Results: SEM and optical microscopy revealed that microspheres ranged from a size of 10 to 15 micrometers, were spherical with a smooth surface topography. The nanoparticles, on the other hand, were found to be agglomerated during lyophilization. The entrapment efficiency of iron nanoparticles in the ethylcellulose microspheres was below 4% yet this amount was found to be enough to enhance the temperature (from room temperature to 42 0C) of microspheres when exposed to RF for a period of 1000 seconds. The zeta potential of the GMO iron nanoparticles was found to be 9.64 mV and the particle size was within 424 nm. By applying external RF to the nanoparticles the temperature was also increased from room temperature to 500C within 700 seconds depending on particle concentration. Conclusions: Micro and nano particles containing iron can be fabricated via an emulsion-solvent evaporation method for multifunctional use. These proof of concept studies revealed that exposure time as well as power RF application can enhance the temperature of the iron nanoparticles.