, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2497–2509 | Cite as

Preparation of a thermo- and pH-sensitive nanofibrous scaffold with embedded chitosan-based nanoparticles and its evaluation as a drug carrier

  • Chih-Hao Huang
  • Ting-Yun Kuo
  • Chia-Fen Lee
  • Chun-Hsun Chu
  • Hsyue-Jen Hsieh
  • Wen-Yen Chiu
Original Paper


Environmentally sensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) nanofibrous scaffolds loaded with a hydrophilic drug were fabricated via an electrospinning process. First, thermally crosslinkable poly(NIPAAm-co-N-methylolacrylamide) (PNN) was synthesized by redox polymerization below the phase transition temperature of PNIPAAm. The phase transition temperature of the PNN copolymer could be altered from 34 to 40 °C by changing the ratio of N-methylolacrylamide (NMA) to NIPAAm. Subsequently, PNN/chitosan nanofibers were electrospun using ethanol/acetic acid/water as a cosolvent. The PNN/chitosan nanofibers were sensitive to both pH and temperature. The fibrous structure of the soaked PNN/chitosan nanofibers was successfully preserved by the crosslinking of NMA. Furthermore, the chitosan-based nanoparticles (NPs) were introduced into the PNN nanofibers (PNN/NPs) to achieve prolonged drug release. The nanoparticles were observed in the PNN nanofibers by transmission electron microscopy. All of the scaffolds examined had high tensile strengths (1.45 MPa or above) and exhibited no significant cytotoxicity toward human fetal skin fibroblasts. Finally, doxycycline hyclate was used as a model drug. The results illustrated that PNN/NPs nanofibrous scaffolds exhibited continuous drug release behavior for up to 1 week, depending on the pH and temperature.


Chitosan N-isopropyl acrylamide Nanoparticle Drug release Electrospinning NMA crosslinking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chih-Hao Huang
    • 1
  • Ting-Yun Kuo
    • 1
  • Chia-Fen Lee
    • 2
  • Chun-Hsun Chu
    • 3
  • Hsyue-Jen Hsieh
    • 1
  • Wen-Yen Chiu
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Cosmetic ScienceChia Nan University of Pharmacy and ScienceTainan CityTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Microsystems Technology CenterIndustrial Technology Research InstituteTainanTaiwan, ROC
  4. 4.Institute of Polymer Science and EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  5. 5.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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