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Langmuir. 2010 May 18;26(10):6869-73. doi: 10.1021/la1003676.

Loading of curcumin in polyelectrolyte multilayers.

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  • 1Nanoscience and Technology Program Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.


Polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) thin films prepared using the layer-by-layer technique are proposed as a matrix for the immobilization of 1,7-bis-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-2,5-dione (curcumin), a lipophilic model drug. The PEM assembly was based on the layer-by-layer deposition of cationic poly(diallyldimethyl-ammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) and anionic poly(4-styrene sulfonate, sodium salt) (PSS) onto a quartz slide. Curcumin was loaded by dipping the PEM film into a dilute solution of curcumin dispersed in an 80/20% v/v water/ethanol solution. Within a few minutes, the film turned bright yellow as a result of the curcumin loading. The effect of the solvent composition, curcumin concentration and film thickness on the final concentration of curcumin in the PEM films was measured by UV-vis spectroscopy. The loading of curcumin was driven by its partitioning in the PEM film, and its partitioning coefficient between the 80/20 solvent and the PEM thin film was found to have a value of 2.07 x 10(5). The extinction coefficient of curcumin loaded into PEM was calculated to 64,000 M(-1) cm(-1). Results show that the loading of curcumin into the PEM films increased with the number of deposited layers, implying that curcumin partitioned into the bulk of the thin film. The maximum curcumin dose in the PEM film was measured by exposing films of various thicknesses to a high concentration (0.01% w/v) of curcumin and recording the maximum absorbance after saturation. The films thicknesses were controlled by the number of deposited PDADMAC/PSS layers (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60). Results show that increasing amounts of curcumin could be loaded into the film with an increasing number of layers and up to 8 microg/cm(2) of curcumin could be loaded into a 20-layer film. These results demonstrate that the loading of lipophilic curcumin in PEM thin films is done through a partitioning mechanism and that the PDADMAC/PSS film can be used as a loading matrix for lipophilic drugs.

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