Fibrin nanoconstructs (FNCs) were prepared through a modified water-in-oil emulsificationdiffusion route without the use of any surfactants, resulting in a high yield synthesis of fibrin nanotubes (FNTs) and fibrin nanoparticles (FNPs). The fibrin nanoconstructs formed an aligned structure with self-assembled nanotubes with closed heads that eventually formed spherical nanoparticles of size ∼250nm. The nanotubes were typically ∼700nm long and 150-300nm in diameter, with a wall thickness of ∼50nm and pore diameter of about 150-250nm. These constructs showed high stability against aggregation indicated by a zeta potential of -44mV and an excellent temperature stability upto 200°C. Furthermore, they were found to be enzymatically degradable, thereby precluding any long term toxicity effects. These unique fibrin nanostructures were analyzed for their ability to deliver tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive drug that is used widely to prevent the initial phase of tissue rejection during allogenic transplantation surgeries. Upon conjugation with tacrolimus, a drug encapsulation efficiency of 66% was achieved, with the invitro release studies in PBS depicting a sustained and complete drug release over a period of one week at the physiological pH of 7.4. At a more acidic pH, the drug release was very slow, suggesting their potential for oralintestinal drug administration as well. The in vivo drug absorption rates analyzed in Sprague Dawley rats further confirmed the sustained release pattern of tacrolimus for both oral and parenteral delivery routes. The novel fibrin nanoconstructs developed using a green chemistry approach thus proved to be excellent biodegradable nanocarriers for oral as well as parenteral administrations, with remarkable potential also for delivering specific growth factors in tissue engineering scaffolds. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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G. Praveen, Sreerekha, P. R., Menon, D., Nair, S. V., and Chennazhi, K. P., “Fibrin nanoconstructs: A novel processing method and their use as controlled delivery agents”, Nanotechnology, vol. 23, 2012.