The emerging field of theranostics for advanced healthcare has raised the demand for effective and safe delivery systems consisting of therapeutics and diagnostics agents in a single monarchy. This requires the development of multi-functional bio-polymeric systems for efficient image-guided therapeutics. This study reports the development of size-controlled (micro-to-nano) auto-fluorescent biopolymeric hydrogel particles of chitosan and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) synthesized using water-in-oil emulsion polymerization technique. Sustainable resource linseed oil-based polyol is introduced as an element of hydrophobicity with an aim to facilitate their ability to traverse the blood-brain barrier (BBB). These nanogels are demonstrated to have salient features such as biocompatibility, stability, high cellular uptake by a variety of host cells, and ability to transmigrate across an in vitro BBB model. Interestingly, these unique nanogel particles exhibited auto-fluorescence at a wide range of wavelengths 450–780 nm on excitation at 405 nm whereas excitation at 710 nm gives emission at 810 nm. In conclusion, this study proposes the developed bio-polymeric fluorescent micro- and nano- gels as a potential theranostic tool for central nervous system (CNS) drug delivery and image-guided therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering