Hot extrusion of PE/fluorouracil implantable rods for targeted drug delivery in cancer treatment
In this study, implantable polyethylene/fluorouracil (PE/FU) rods were manufactured by hot extrusion under different processing conditions. SEM–EDS analyses revealed the effect of temperature on the morphology of the samples. Furthermore, small particles of fluorouracil were observed on the surface and in the PE matrix. Both the FTIR and NIR spectra of the PE/FU rods confirmed the presence of fluorouracil. The PE/FU rods presented lower values of flexural modulus and fatigue resistance than pure PE rods; this was probably due to imperfections and defects introduced into the PE matrix by the fluorouracil particles. The initial amount of FU released by the extruded PE/FU rods (around 35 mg/g) is desirable since it provides a high initial concentration of the drug locally to kill cancer cells following implantation. The subsequent slow and controlled release of the drug (12–45 days) provides suitable levels of the chemotherapeutic agent at the tumor site to improve the anticancer treatment.
KeywordsPolyethylene/fluorouracil Implantable rods Cancer treatment Hot extrusion Properties and drug release
The authors would like to thank PRONEX/FAPESC, CNPQ and FINEP for financial support and Mr. Paulo C.M. Rosa for the inspiration.
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