Fabrication of silk fibroin nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery

Zheng Zhao, Aizheng Chen, Yi Li, Junyan Hu, Xuan Liu, Jiashen Li, Yu Zhang, Gang Li, Zijian Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


A novel solution-enhanced dispersion by supercritical CO2(SEDS) was employed to prepare silk fibroin (SF) nanoparticles. The resulting SF nanoparticles exhibited a good spherical shape, a smooth surface, and a narrow particle size distribution with a mean particle diameter of about 50 nm. The results of X-ray powder diffraction, thermo gravimetry- differential scanning calorimetry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis of the SF nanoparticles before and after ethanol treatment indicated conformation transition of SF nanoparticles from random coil to β-sheet form and thus water insolubility. The MTS assay also suggested that the SF nanoparticles after ethanol treatment imposed no toxicity. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin (IDMC), was chosen as the model drug and was encapsulated in SF nanoparticles by the SEDS process. The resulting IDMC-SF nanoparticles, after ethanol treatment, possessed a theoretical average drug load of 20%, an actual drug load of 2.05%, and an encapsulation efficiency of 10.23%. In vitro IDMC release from the IDMC-SF nanoparticles after ethanol treatment showed a significantly sustained release over 2 days. These studies of SF nanoparticles indicated the suitability of the SF nanoparticles prepared by the SEDS process as a biocompatible carrier to deliver drugs and also the feasibility of using the SEDS process to reach the goal of co-precipitation of drug and SF as composite nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery. 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Article number736
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2012


  • Drug delivery
  • Indomethacin
  • Nanoparticles
  • Silk fibroin
  • Supercritical CO 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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