• controlled release;
  • drug delivery;
  • nanofibers;
  • plant viral nanoparticles;
  • virus


Therapeutic polylactide (PLA) nanofibrous matrices are fabricated by incorporating plant viral nanoparticles (PVNs) infused with fluorescent agents ethidium bromide (EtBr) and rhodamine (Rho), and cancer therapeutic doxorubicin (Dox). The native virus, Red clover necrotic mosaic virus (RCNMV), reversibly opens and closes upon exposure to the appropriate environmental stimuli. Infusing RCNMV with small molecules allows the incorporation of PVNActive into fibrous matrices via two methods: direct processing by in situ electrospinning of a polymer and PVNs solution or immersion of the matrix into a viral nanoparticle solution. Five organic solvents commonly in-use for electrospinning are evaluated for potential negative impact on RCNMV stability. In addition, leakage of rhodamine from the corresponding PVNRho upon solvent exposure is determined. Incorporation of the PVN into the matrices are evaluated via transmission electron, scanning electron and fluorescent microscopies. Finally, the percent cumulative release of doxorubicin from both PLA nanofibers and PLA and polyethylene oxide (PEO) hybrid nanofibers demonstrate tailored release due to the incorporation of PVNDox as compared to the control nanofibers with free Dox. Preliminary kinetic analysis results suggest a two-phase release profile with the first phase following a hindered Fickian transport mechanism for the release of Dox for the polymer-embedded PVNs. In contrast, the nanofiber matrices that incorporate PVNs through the immersion processing method followed a pseudo-first order kinetic transport mechanism.