Melt-blended halloysite nanotubes/wheat starch nanocomposites as drug delivery system



This article aims at preparing and characterizing efficiency of melt-extruded polymer nanocomposites-based drug delivery systems with tailored drug release properties. 5-aminosalycylic acid (5-ASA)-loaded halloysite nanotubes (HNT)/plasticized starch nanocomposites were prepared and evaluated for the drug release, swelling characteristics, and degradability. The structure, morphology, and properties of the nanocomposites were characterized by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and UV-visible spectrophotometry. The 5-ASA and HNT hybrid formation is confirmed, as well as the presence of 5-ASA within the HNTs and an excellent dispersion of the 5-ASA/HNT hybrid in the thermoplastic starch matrix. The swelling of nanocomposites strongly depends on the temperature but not on pH. The degradability tests yield a stabilized weight loss of 24 wt%, which is ascribed to leaching of plasticizers. The presence of HNTs delays the drug release process. The observed in vitro drug release after 2 h is 37.2% for plasticized starch and 30.0% for the nanocomposites. Overall results indicate that the developed nanocomposite system can be a potential candidate for drug delivery applications. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 55:573–580, 2015. © 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers