pH responsive controlled release of anti-cancer hydrophobic drugs from sodium alginate and hydroxyapatite bi-coated iron oxide nanoparticles

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2017 Aug;117:29-38. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.03.014. Epub 2017 Mar 19.


Developing a drug carrier system which could perform targeted and controlled release over a period of time is utmost concern in the pharmaceutical industry. This is more relevant when designing drug carriers for poorly water soluble drug molecules such as curcumin and 6-gingerol. Development of a drug carrier system which could overcome these limitations and perform controlled and targeted drug delivery is beneficial. This study describes a promising approach for the design of novel pH sensitive sodium alginate, hydroxyapatite bilayer coated iron oxide nanoparticle composite (IONP/HAp-NaAlg) via the co-precipitation approach. This system consists of a magnetic core for targeting and a NaAlg/HAp coating on the surface to accommodate the drug molecules. The nanocomposite was characterized using FT-IR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The loading efficiency and loading capacity of curcumin and 6-gingerol were examined. In vitro drug releasing behavior of curcumin and 6-gingerol was studied at pH 7.4 and pH 5.3 over a period of seven days at 37°C. The mechanism of drug release from the nanocomposite of each situation was studied using kinetic models and the results implied that, the release is typically via diffusion and a higher release was observed at pH 5.3. This bilayer coated system can be recognized as a potential drug delivery system for the purpose of curcumin and 6-gingerol release in targeted and controlled manner to treat diseases such as cancer.

Keywords: 6-Gingerol; Alginic acid sodium salt (PubChem CID: 5102882); Ammonium iron (II) sulfate hexahydrate (PubChem CID: 16211143); Ammonium iron (III) sulfate dodecahydrate (PubChem CID: 16211144); Calcium nitrate tetra hydrate (PubChem CID: 16211656); Controlled release; Curcumin; Curcumin (PubChem CID: 969516); Diammonium hydrogen phosphate (PubChem CID: 24540); Hydroxyapatite; Magnetic Fe(3)O(4); Sodium alginate; [6]-Gingerol (PubChem CID: 442793).

MeSH terms

  • Alginates / analysis
  • Alginates / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Catechols / analysis
  • Catechols / chemistry
  • Curcumin / analysis
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / analysis
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / chemistry
  • Drug Carriers / analysis
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Drug Liberation
  • Durapatite / analysis
  • Durapatite / chemistry*
  • Fatty Alcohols / analysis
  • Fatty Alcohols / chemistry
  • Ferric Compounds / analysis
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry*
  • Glucuronic Acid / analysis
  • Glucuronic Acid / chemistry
  • Hexuronic Acids / analysis
  • Hexuronic Acids / chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / analysis
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / analysis
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • X-Ray Diffraction / methods


  • Alginates
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Catechols
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Carriers
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • ferric oxide
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Glucuronic Acid
  • Durapatite
  • gingerol
  • Curcumin