Mussel-inspired protein-mediated surface functionalization of electrospun nanofibers for pH-responsive drug delivery

J. Jiang, J. Xie, B. Ma, D. E. Bartlett, A. Xu, C. H. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


pH-responsive drug delivery systems could mediate drug releasing rate by changing the pH values at specific times as per the pathophysiological need of the disease. This paper demonstrates that a mussel-inspired protein polydopamine coating can tune the loading and releasing rate of charged molecules from electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibers in solutions with different pH values. In vitro release profiles show that the positive charged molecules release significantly faster in acidic than those in neutral and basic environments within the same incubation time. The results of fluorescein diacetate staining and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays show the viability of cancer cells after treatment with doxorubicin-released media at different pH values qualitatively and quantitatively, indicating that the media containing doxorubicin that were released in solutions at low pH values could kill a significantly higher number of cells than those released in solutions at high pH values. Together, the pH-responsive drug delivery systems based on polydopamine-coated PCL nanofibers could have potential application in the oral delivery of anticancer drugs for treating gastric cancer and in vaginal delivery of anti-viral drugs or anti-inflammatory drugs, which could raise their efficacy, deliver them to the specific target and minimize their toxic side effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1324-1332
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug delivery
  • Electrospun fibers
  • Poly(ε-caprolactone)
  • Polydopamine coating
  • pH sensitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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