The development of injectable gelatin/silk fibroin microspheres for the dual delivery of curcumin and piperine.

Research paper by Juthamas J Ratanavaraporn, Sorada S Kanokpanont, Siriporn S Damrongsakkul

Indexed on: 05 Nov '13Published on: 05 Nov '13Published in: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine


The objective of this study was to develop the microspheres from gelatin (G) and silk fibroin (SF) aimed to be applied for the controlled release of curcumin and piperine. The glutaraldehyde-crosslinked G/SF microspheres at various weight blending ratios (100/0, 70/30, 50/50, and 30/70) were successfully fabricated by water in oil emulsion technique. The microspheres prepared from all compositions were in a round shape with homogeneous size distribution both in the dried (194-217 μm) and swollen states (297-367 μm). When subjected in collagenase solution at physiological condition, the G microspheres gradually degraded within 14 days while the blended G/SF microspheres, particularly at 50/50 and 30/70, were not degraded. For the release application, the microspheres were loaded with curcumin and/or piperine. It was found that the microspheres composed of SF tended to entrap curcumin and piperine with the high entrapment and loading efficiencies, possibly due to their hydrophobic interactions. The G/SF microspheres, particularly at the ratios of 50/50 and 30/70, released curcumin and piperine in a sustained manner both for the single and dual release systems. The controlled dual release of curcumin and piperine from the G/SF microspheres would prolong their half-life, provide the optimal concentrations for therapeutic effects at a target site, and improve the bioavailability of curcumin. These novel injectable microspheres dually releasing curcumin and piperine would be introduced for the treatment of diseases without the need of operation.