ABSTRACT Electrospinning is a very simple and versatile process by which polymer nanofibers with di-ameters ranging from a few nanometers to sev-eral micrometers can be produced using an electrostatically driven jet of polymer solution or polymer melt. Significant progress has been made in this process throughout the past few years and electrospinning has advanced its ap-plications in many fields, including pharmaceu-tics. Electrospun nanofibers show great prom-ise for developing many types of novel drug delivery systems (DDS) due to their special characteristics and the simple but useful and effective top-down fabricating process. The current state of electrospun nanofiber-based DDS is focused on drug-loaded nanofiber preparation from pharmaceutical and biode-gradable polymers and different types of DDS. However, there are more opportunities to be exploited from the electrospinning process and the corresponding drug-loaded nanofibers for drug delivery. Additionally, some other related challenges and the possible resolutions are outlined in this review.
Cite this paper
nullYu, D. , Zhu, L. , White, K. and Branford-White, C. (2009) Electrospun nanofiber-based drug delivery systems. Health, 1, 67-75. doi: 10.4236/health.2009.12012.
 Formhals, Process and apparatus for preparing artificial threads, US Pat 1975504, October-02-1934.
Doshi, J. and Reneker, D.H., (1995) Electrospinning process and applications of electrospun fibers, Electro-statics, 35, 151-160.
Huang, Z.M., Zhang, Y.Z., Kotaki, M. and Ramakrishna, S. (2003) A review on polymer nanofibers by electro-spinning applications in nanocomposites, Composites Sci. Tech., 63, 2223-2253.
McKee, M.G., Layman, J.M., Cashion, M.P., Timothy, E.L. (2006) Phospholipid nonwoven electrospun mem-branes, Science, 311, 353-355.
Kenawy, E.R., Bowlin, G.L., Mansfield, K., Layman, J., Simpson, D.G., Sanders, E.H., and Wnek, G.E. (2002) Release of tetracycline hydrochloride from electrospun poly (ethylene-co-vinylacetate), poly(lactic acid), and a blend, J. Control. Release, 81, 57-64.
Ignatious, F., Baldoni, J.M. (2001) Electrospun pharma-ceutical compositions, WO Pat 0154667.
Tungprapa, S., Jangchud, I., and Supaphol, P. (2007) Release characteristics of four model drugs from drug- loaded electrospun cellulose acetate fiber mats, Polymer, 48, 5030-5041.
[Taepaiboon, P., Rungsardthong, U., Supaphol, P. (2006) Drug-loaded electrospun mats of poly(vinyl alcohol) fi-bres and their release characteristics of four model drugs, Nanotechnology, 17, 2317-2329.
[Dzenis, Y. (2004) Spinning continuous fibers for nanotechnology, Science, 304, 1917-1919.
[Chronakis, I.S. (2005) Novel nanocomposites and nanoceramics based on polymer nanofibers using elec-trospinning process-A review, J. Mat. Proc. Tec., 167, 283-293.
[Agarwal, S., Wendorff, J.H. and Greiner, A. (2008) Use of electrospinning technique for biomedical applications, Polymer, 49, 5603-5621.
[Yu, D.G., Shen, X.X., Branford-White, C., White, K., Zhu, L.M. and Bligh, S.W.A. (2009) Oral fast-dissolving drug delivery membranes prepared from electrospun PVP ultrafine fibers,” Nanotechnology, 20, 055104.
[Pillai, O. and Panchagnula, R. (2001) Polymers in drug delivery, Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol., 5, 447-451.
[Varabhas, J.S., Chase, G.G. and Reneker, D.H. (2008) Electrospun nanofibers from a porous hollow tube, Poly-mer, 49, 4226–4229.
[Shen, X.X., Yu D.G., Ranford-White, C. B. and Zhu, L.M., (2008) Preparation and characterization of ultrafine eudragit L100 fibers via electrospinning, The 3rd Inter-national Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE’09), May18, Shanghai, China.
[Xu, X., Chen, X., Wang, Z. and Jing, X. (2009) Ultrafine PEG–PLA fibers loaded with both paclitaxel and doxorubicin hydrochloride and their in vitro cytotoxicity, Euro. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 72, 18-25.
Zhang, Y.Z., Wang, X., Feng, Y., Li, J., Lim, C.T. and Ramakrishna, S. (2006) Coaxial electrospinning of fluo-rescein isothiocyanate – conjugated bovine serum albu-min)–encapsulated poly(ε-caprolactone) nanofibers for sustained release, Biomacromolecules, 7, 1049-1057.
Chew, S.Y., Wen, J., Yim, E.K.F. and Leong, K.W. (2005) Sustained release of proteins from electrospun biode-gradable fibers, Biomacromolecules, 6, 2017-2024.
Luu, Y.K., Kim, K., Hsiao, B.S., Chu, B. and Hadjiargy-rou, M. (2003) Development of a nanostructured DNA delivery scaffold via electrospinning of PLGA and PLA- PEG block copolymers, J. Control. Release, 89, 341-353.
Xu, X., Zhuang, X., Chen, X., Wang, X., Yang, L. and Jing, X. (2006) Preparation of core-sheath composite nanofibers by emulsion electrospinning, Macromol. Rapid Commun., 27, 1637-1642.
Maretschek, S., Greinerb, A. and Kissel, T. (2008) Elec-trospun biodegradable nanofiber nonwovens for con-trolled release of proteins, J. Control. Release, 127, 180- 187
Verreck, G., Chun, I., Peeters, J., Rosenblatt, J. and Brew-ster, M. E. (2003) Preparation and characterization of nanofibers containing amorphous drug dispersions gen-erated by electrostatic spinning, Pharm Res, 20, 810-817.
Ranganath, S.H. and Wang, C.H., (2008) Biodegradable microfiber implants delivering paclitaxel for post- surgi-cal chemotherapy against malignant glioma, Biomate-rials, 29, 2996-3003.
Devalapally, H., Chakilam, A. and Amiji, M.M. (2007) Role of nanotechnology in pharmaceutical product de-velopment, J. Pharm. Sci., 96, 2547-2565.
Rutledge, G.C. and Fridrikh, S.V. (2007) Formation of fibers by electrospinning, Adv. Drug Del. Rev., 59, 1384- 1391.
Leuner, C. and Dressman, J. (2000) Improving drug solu-bility for oral delivery using solid dispersions, Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 50, 47-60.
Chokshi, R.J., Zia, H., Sandhu, H.K., Shah, N.H. and Malick, W.A. (2007) Improving the dissolution rate of poorly water soluble drug by solid dispersion and solid solution-pros and cons, Drug Delivery, 14, 33-45.
Sethia, S. and Squillante, E. (2003) Solid dispersions: Revival with greater possibilities and applications in oral drug delivery, Crit. Rev. Thera. Drug Carrier System, 20, 215-247.
Xie, J. and Wang, C.H. (2006) Electrospun micro- and nanofibers for sustained delivery of paclitaxel to treat C6 glioma in vitro, Pharm. Res., 23, 1817-1826.
Yu, D.G., Branford-White, C., Shen, X.X., Zhang, X.F. and Zhu, L.M., (2010) Solid dispersions of ketoprofen in drug-loaded electrospun nanofiber, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, 31, article 8.
McCann, J.T., Li, D. and Xia, Y. (2005) Electrospinning of nanofibers with core-sheath, hollow, or porous struc-tures, J. Mater. Chem., 15, 735-738.
Huang, Z.M., He, C.L., Yang, A., Zhang, Y., Han, X.J., Yin, J. and Wu, Q. (2006) Encapsulating drugs in biode-gradable ultrafine fibers through co-axial electrospinning, J. Biom. Mat. Res., 77A, 169-179.
Loscertales, I.G., Barrero, A., Guerrero, I., Cortijo, R., Marquez, M. and Ganan-Calvo, A.M. (2002) Micro/nano encapsulation via electrified coaxial liquid jets, Science, 295, 1695-1698.
Li, D. and Xia, Y. (2004) Direct fabrication of composite and ceramic hollow nanofibers by electrospinning, Nano Letter, 4, 933-938.
Ignatious, F. and Baldoni, J.M. (2003) Electrospun phar-maceutical compositions, US Pat 2003017208.
Shalaby, S.W. (2007) Partially absorbable fiber-rein- forced composites for controlled drug delivery, EP- 1786356.
Xu, X.L., Yang, L.X., Xu, X.Y., Wang, X., Chen, X.S., Liang, Q.Z., Zeng, J. and Jing, X.B. (2005) Ultrafine medicated fibers electrospun from W/O emulsions, J. Control. Release, 108, 33-42.
Kim, G.H., Cho, Y.S., Kim, W.D. (2006) Stability analy-sis for multi-jets electrospinning process modified with a cylindrical electrode, Euro. Polym. J., 42(9), 2031-2038.
Yoon, H., Kim, G.H., Kim, W.D. (2008) Electrohydro-dynamic process supplemented by multiple-nozzle and auxiliary electrodes for fabricating PCL nanofibers, Polymer, 32(4), 334-339.
Heikkila, P. and Harlin, A. Parameter study of electro-spinning of polyamide-6, Euro. Polym. J., 44(10), 3067- 3079.
Zeng, J., Yang, L., Liang, Q., Zhang, X., Guan, H., Xu, X., Chen, X. and Jing, X. (2005) Influence of the drug compatibility with polymer solution on the release kinet-ics of electrospun fiber formulation, J. Control. Release, 105, 43-51.
Taepaiboon, P., Rungsardthong, U., Supaphol, P. (2007) Effect of cross-linking on properties and release charac-teristics of sodium salicylate-loaded electrospun poly (vinyl alcohol) fibre mats, Nanotechnology, 18, 175102 (11pp).
Zeng, J., Xu, X.Y., Chen, X.S., Liang, Q.Z., Bian, X.C. and Yang, L.X. (2003) Biodegradable electrospun fibers for drug delivery, J. Control. Release, 92, 227-231.
Chunder, A., Sarkar, S., Yu, Y. and Zhai, L. (2007) Fab-rication of ultrathin polyelectrolyte fibers and their con-trolled release properties, Colloids and Surfaces B: Bio-interfaces, 58, 172-179.