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A Novel Electrostimulated Drug Delivery System Based on PLLA Composites Exploiting the Multiple Functions of Graphite Nanoplatelets

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journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2016, 00:00 by Lorenza Gardella, Samuele Colonna, Alberto Fina, Orietta Monticelli
A novel drug delivery system based on poly­(l-lactide) (PLLA), graphite, and porphyrin was developed. In particular, 5,10,15,20-tetrakis­(4-hydroxy­phenyl)­porphyrin (THPP) was chosen because, besides its potential as codispersing agent of graphite, it is a pharmacologically active molecule. Graphite nanoplatelets, homogeneously dispersed in both the neat PLLA and the PLLA/porphyrin films, which were prepared by solution casting, turned out to improve the crystallinity of the polymer. Moreover, IR measurements demonstrated that unlike PLLA/porphyrin film, where the porphyrin was prone to aggregate causing variable concentration throughout the sample, the system containing also GNP was characterized by a homogeneous dispersion of the above molecule. The effect of graphite nanoplatelets on the thermal stabilization, electrical conductivity, and improvement of mechanical properties of the polymer resulted to be increased by the addition of the porphyrin to the system, thus demonstrating the role of the molecule in ameliorating the filler dispersion in PLLA. The porphyrin release from the composite film, occurring both naturally and with the application of an electrical field, was measured using an UV–vis spectrophotometer. Indeed, voltage application turned out to improve significantly the kinetic of drug release. The biocompatibility of the polymer matrix as well as the mechanical and thermal properties of the composite together with its electrical response makes the developed material extremely promising in biological applications, particularly in the drug delivery field.