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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2009 Apr;30(4):485-93. doi: 10.1038/aps.2009.15. Epub 2009 Mar 23.

Composite glycidyl methacrylated dextran (Dex-GMA)/gelatin nanoparticles for localized protein delivery.

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  • 1Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China. cfmsunhh@fmmu.edu.cn



Localized delivery of growth factors has significant potential as a future therapeutic strategy in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. A nanoparticle vehicle was created and evaluated in this study with the intent to deliver growth factors for periodontal regeneration.


Novel composite nanoparticles based on glycidyl methacrylate derivatized dextrans (Dex-GMA) and gelatin were fabricated by a facile method without using any organic solvents. The configurations of the resultant nanoparticles were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscope. Their surfaces were characterized by zeta-potential measurements, after which their properties including swelling, degradation, drug release, and cytotoxicity were also investigated using in vitro models.


The particle size of Dex-GMA/gelatin nanoparticles (DG-NPs) ranged from 20 to 100 nm and showed a mono-disperse size distribution (mean diameter 53.7 nm) and a strongly negative surface zeta potential (-20 mV). The DG-NPs were characterized by good swelling and degradation properties in media including dextranase. The in vitro drug release studies showed that the efficient bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) release from DG-NPs was maintained for more than 12 d under degradation conditions, where more than 90% of the loaded BMP was released. No any relevant cell damage caused by DG-NPs was found in the cytotoxicity tests for a period of 24 h.


These combined results demonstrate that DG-NPs fulfill the basic prerequisites for growth factor delivery. With further in vivo studies, those nanoparticles may offer a promising vehicle for the delivery of active drugs to the periodontium.

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