Why are nanofibers used in drug delivery?
Nanofibers have emerged as a promising platform for drug delivery due to their unique characteristics that enable controlled and targeted release of therapeutic agents. These ultrafine fibers, typically ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers in diameter, offer several advantages in the field of drug delivery.
High Surface Area
Nanofibers possess a large surface area-to-volume ratio, allowing for increased drug loading capacity. This property enables the delivery of a higher concentration of drugs, improving therapeutic efficacy.
Nanofibers can be engineered to have a controlled and tunable porosity, which influences drug release kinetics. This property enables the customization of drug delivery systems to achieve sustained, controlled, or targeted drug release profiles.
Versatile Drug Loading
Nanofibers can encapsulate a wide range of drugs, including small molecules, proteins, peptides, and nucleic acids. This versatility allows for the delivery of various types of therapeutic agents, expanding the potential applications of nanofiber-based drug delivery systems.
Nanofibers can be designed to provide controlled release of drugs over extended periods. Their unique structure and composition enable precise modulation of drug release rates.
Encapsulation and Protection
Nanofibers can protect drugs from degradation or premature release, improving their stability and bioavailability. They can shield drugs from harsh environmental conditions or enzymatic degradation, ensuring the integrity and efficacy of the delivered drugs.
Enhanced Cellular Interaction
Nanofibers can facilitate better cellular interaction and uptake of drugs. Their fibrous structure mimics the extracellular matrix, promoting cell adhesion, internalization, and targeted delivery to specific cells or tissues.
Some nanofibers exhibit stimuli-responsive behavior, allowing for triggered drug release in response to specific environmental cues, such as pH, temperature, light, or enzymes. This property enables on-demand drug release at the desired site, improving therapeutic precision and reducing side effects.
Biocompatibility and Biodegradability
Nanofibers can be designed to be biocompatible and biodegradable, ensuring their safe use in drug delivery systems. They can degrade over time, eliminating the need for device retrieval or removal after drug release, minimizing invasive procedures.