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Controlled Drug Release and Hydrolysis Mechanism of Polymer–Magnetic Nanoparticle Composite

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2015, 00:00 by Fang Yang, Xiaoxian Zhang, Lina Song, Huating Cui, John N. Myers, Tingting Bai, Ying Zhou, Zhan Chen, Ning Gu
Uniform and multifunctional poly­(lactic acid) (PLA)–nanoparticle composite has enormous potential for applications in biomedical and materials science. A detailed understanding of the surface and interface chemistry of these composites is essential to design such materials with optimized function. Herein, we designed and investigated a simple PLA–magnetic nanoparticle composite system to elucidate the impact of nanoparticles on the degradation of polymer–nanoparticle composites. In order to have an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of hydrolysis in PLA–nanoparticle composites, degradation processes were monitored by several surface sensitive techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, contact angle goniometry, atomic force microscopy, and sum frequency generation spectroscopy. As a second-order nonlinear optical technique, SFG spectroscopy was introduced to directly probe in situ chemical nature at the PLA–magnetic nanoparticle composite/aqueous interface, which allowed for the delineation of molecular mechanisms of various hydrolysis processes for degradation at the molecular level. The best PLA–NP material, with a concentration of 20% MNP in the composite, was found to enhance the drug release rate greater than 200 times while maintaining excellent controlled drug release characteristics. It was also found that during hydrolysis, various crystalline-like PLA domains on the surfaces of PLA–nanoparticle composites influenced various hydrolysis behaviors of PLA. Results from this study provide new insight into the design of nanomaterials with controlled degradation and drug release properties, and the underlined molecular mechanisms. The methodology developed in this study to characterize the polymer–nanoparticle composites is general and widely applicable.