Oil-filled silica nanocapsules for lipophilic drug uptake: Implications for drug detoxification therapy

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Oil-filled nanocapsules were synthesized using the oil droplets of an O/W microemulsion as templates. A polysiloxane/silicate shell was formed at the surface of the oil droplet by cross-linking n-octadecyltrimethoxysilane and tetramethoxysiloxane. The shell imparted stability to the oil droplets against coalescence. The nanocapsules can be used in a number of applications (i.e., biomedical or environmental) where the free concentration of lipophilic compounds must be reduced. As a proof, the nanocapsules (1.4% w/v oil content in saline) were shown to sequester quinoline (8μM) from saline in <15 min. The removal process was followed in real time using the UV absorbance of free quinoline in solution. Our primary goal is to produce a system for drug detoxification therapy. As a proof of concept for sequestering drugs, the nanocapsules were used in the removal of free bupivacaine from normal saline solution. The free bupivacaine concentration was determined in the aqueous phase after contact with such nanocapsules using HPLC. The results showed a rapid removal of bupivacaine. The nanocapsules at a concentration of 0.1% w/v oil content showed a maximum removal capacity of ≈1900 μM bupivacaine.

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Chemistry of Materials

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