Soft nanocomposites of gelatin and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) nanoparticles for dual drug release

Rafael A. Bini, Mônica F. Silva, Laudemir C. Varanda, Marcelo da Silva, Cécile A. Dreiss

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35 Citations (Scopus)
366 Downloads (Pure)


We developed a nanocomposite gel composed of gelatin and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) polymeric nanoparticles (PNP) to be used as an injectable gel for the contemporaneous, dual sustained release of bioactive molecules. The hydrogel matrix was formed from a very simple process, using either the physical gelation of gelatin or the natural enzyme transglutaminase to covalently cross-link the gelatin chains in the presence of embedded PNP. Oscillatory rheological measurements showed that the addition of the PNP induced an increase in the storage modulus compared to pure gelatin gels, for both physical and chemical gels. Micrographs from scanning electron microscopy revealed that the presence of PNP disrupted the native structure of the gelatin chains in the hydrogel matrix. Dual drug encapsulation was achieved with curcumin (CM) in the PNP and naproxen sodium in the gelatin matrix. In vitro release studies showed that the hydrogel matrix acts both as a physical and chemical barrier, delaying the diffusion of the drugs. An initial burst release was observed in the first hours of the measurement, and around 90% was released on the third day for naproxen sodium. In free PNP, 82% of curcumin was relased after four days, while when PNP were embedded in the gelatin matrix only 40% was released over the same time period. Overall, these simple, sustainable soft nanocomposites show potential as an injectable co-sustained drug release system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalColloids And Surfaces B-Biointerfaces
Early online date22 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • gelatin hydrogels
  • poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) nanoparticles
  • soft nanocomposites
  • curcumin
  • naproxen sodium
  • dual drug delivery


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