METHODS: CMC/PLA/ZnO/CUR nanocomposite films were prepared by the dispersion of CMC and ZnO NPs in solubilized PLA/curcumin medium, followed by solvent casting step. Curcumin is poorly water-soluble and used as the model drug in this study. The films with different contents of CMC, PLA and ZnO NPs were characterized using FTIR, impedance spectroscopy, tensile testing and FESEM imaging. The in vitro drug release of the films was carried out in deionized water under DC electric field of 4.5 V.
RESULTS: The ionic conductivity of the films increased with increasing the CMC concentration of the film. The addition of a small amount of ZnO NPs (2%) successfully restored the tensile properties of the film. In response to the application of the electric field, the composite films released drug with a near-linear profile. There was no noticeable amount of passive diffusion of the drug from the film with the absence of the electric field.
CONCLUSION: The outcome of this study enabled the design of an electric-responsive nanocomposite platform for the delivery of poorly water-soluble/non-ionic drugs. Graphical abstract.