Engineered Biocompatible, Decomposable Core-Shell Structures for Drug Delivery Applications

Dinesh B. Shenoy, Alexei A. Antipov, and Gleb B. Sukhorukov

Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Golm, Germany




The motivation of the present investigation has been to fabricate composite colloidal particles consisting of a sacrificial, decomposable template of biodegradable nature functionalized with polyionic assembly of biocompatible shell components using classical layer-by-layer self-assembly approach.

Well-characterized biodegradable aliphatic polyesters were chosen to fabricate microparticulate template and preliminary feasibility study was carried out with poly (styrene sulfonate) - polyallylamine hydrochloride as shell components. The core-shell assembly was then extended to biocompatible polyelectrolytes as shell wall building blocks, which included dextran sulfate, sodium alginate and xanthan gum as polyanions with chitosan and protamine sulfate as polycations to deduce stable hollow capsules fabricated with biocompatible/biodegradable components. The properties of this system were characterized by confocal microscopy, electrophoretic measurements, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

The results demonstrate that polyester microparticles could serve as a viable alternative components to melamine formaldehyde templates to derive hollow capsules with defined size, shape and shell thickness. With all the components used for fabrication being biocompatible, these polyelectrolyte capsules posses greater potential to be used as carriers for biological species and for controlled release and targeting of pharmaceuticals.