Research Article: Fibrin-based microsphere reservoirs for delivery of neurotrophic factors to the brain

Written by Nanomedicine

The Nanomedicine Special Focus Issue on ‘Engineering the nanoenvironment for regenerative medicine’ also highlights that nanobiomaterials are also increasingly being recognized for their significant potential in targeted delivery of drug payloads, and particularly for drug delivery to inaccessible anatomical or intracellular compartments. This is indicated in an original article by Juhi Samal et al. who present research on hollow fibrin microspheres and how they may be employed to protects neural growth factor activity and promote a controlled release in vivo. The authors demonstrate how these microspheres offer tuneable loading efficiency and maintaining their bioactive form after release in vivo.

Aim: The in vivo therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors to modify neuronal dysfunctions is limited by their short half-life. A biomaterials-based intervention, which protects these factors and allows a controlled release, is required. Materials & methods: Hollow fibrin microspheres were fabricated by charge manipulation using polystyrene templates and were loaded with NGF. Bioactivity of released NGF was demonstrated by neuronal outgrowth assay in PC-12 cells followed by in vivo assessment for NGF release and host response. Results: Fibrin-based hollow spheres showed high loading efficiency (>80%). Neurotrophin encapsulation into the microspheres did not alter its bioactivity and controlled release of NGF was observed in the in vivo study. Conclusion: Fibrin hollow microspheres act as a suitable delivery platform for neurotrophic factors with tunable loading efficiency and maintaining their bioactive form after release in vivo.

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Author affiliations:

Juhi Samal

Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials

Deirdre B Hoban

Pharmacology & Therapeutics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Carol Naughton

Pharmacology & Therapeutics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Ruth Concannon

Pharmacology & Therapeutics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Eilis Dowd

Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials

Abhay Pandit

Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials