Biomimetic Hydroxyapatite a Potential Universal Nanocarrier for Cellular Internalization & Drug Delivery

Pharm Res. 2019 Mar 7;36(4):60. doi: 10.1007/s11095-019-2594-7.


Purpose: Functional biomaterials can be used as drug loading devices, components for tissue engineering or as biological probes. As such, the design, synthesis and evaluation of a variety of local-drug delivery structures has been undertaken over the past few decades with the ultimate aim of providing materials that can encapsulate a diverse array of drugs (in terms of their sizes, chemical compositions and chemical natures (i.e. hydrophilic/hydrophobic).

Methods: Presented here is the evaluation of specifically hollow 1D structures consisting of nanotubes (NTs) of HAp and their efficacy for cellular internalization using two distinguished anti-cancer model drugs: Paclitaxel (hydrophobic) and Doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydrophilic).

Results: Importantly, it has been observed through this work that HAp NTs consistently showed not only higher drug loading capacity as compared to HAp nanospheres (NSs) but also had better efficacy with respect to cell internalization/encapsulation. The highly porous structure, with large surface area of nanotube morphology, gave the advantage of targeted delivery due to its high drug loading and retention capacity. This was done using the very simple techniques of physical adsorption to load the drug/dye molecules and therefore this can be universally applied to a diverse array of molecules.

Conclusions: Our synthesized nanocarrier can be widely employed in biomedical applications due to its bio-compatible, bio-active and biodegradable properties and as such can be considered to be a universal carrier. Graphical Abstract Schematic representation for a comparative study of hydroxyapatite (hollow nanotubes vs solid nanospheres) with variety of drug/ dye molecules.

Keywords: confocal microscopy; cytotoxicity; drug delivery; morphology.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption / drug effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Biomimetics / methods
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Doxorubicin / chemistry
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Durapatite / chemistry*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Nanospheres / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes / chemistry
  • Porosity


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Drug Carriers
  • Doxorubicin
  • Durapatite