We report on the synthesis and evaluation of biopolymeric spheres of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) containing different amounts of magnetite nanoparticles and Ibuprofen (PLGA-Fe3O4-IBUP), but also chitosan (PLGA-CS-Fe3O4-IBUP), to be considered as drug delivery systems. Besides morphological, structural, and compositional characterizations, the PLGA-Fe3O4-IBUP composite microspheres were subjected to drug release studies, performed both under biomimetically-simulated dynamic conditions and under external radiofrequency magnetic fields. The experimental data resulted by performing the drug release studies evidenced that PLGA-Fe3O4-IBUP microspheres with the lowest contents of Fe3O4 nanoparticles are optimal candidates for triggered drug release under external stimulation related to hyperthermia effect. The as-selected microspheres and their chitosan-containing counterparts were biologically assessed on macrophage cultures, being evaluated as biocompatible and bioactive materials that are able to promote cellular adhesion and proliferation. The composite biopolymeric spheres resulted in inhibited microbial growth and biofilm formation, as assessed against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans microbial strains. Significantly improved antimicrobial effects were reported in the case of chitosan-containing biomaterials, regardless of the microorganisms' type. The nanostructured composite biopolymeric spheres evidenced proper characteristics as prolonged and controlled drug release platforms for multipurpose biomedical applications.
Keywords: antimicrobial materials; biopolymeric spheres; hyperthermia; magnetic nanoparticles; multifunctional materials.