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Hyaluronan-cholesterol nanohydrogels: Characterisation and effectiveness in carrying alginate lyase

Montanari, Elita, Di Meo, Chiara, Sennato, Simona, Francioso, Antonio, Marinelli, Anna Laura, Ranzo, Francesca, Schippa, Serena, Coviello, Tommasina, Bordi, Federico, Matricardi, Pietro
New biotechnology 2017 v.37 pp. 80-89
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, alginate lyase, alginates, atomic force microscopy, autoclaves, autoclaving, bacterial infections, biofilm, chemical structure, enzyme activity, light scattering, modulus of elasticity, molecular weight, nanocarriers, temperature, transmission electron microscopy
Although in recent years several methods have been studied and developed to obtain different types of nanosized drug delivery systems, the set up of suitable procedures and materials remains highly expensive, their preparation is time consuming and often not feasible for a scale-up process. Furthermore, the sterilisation and storage of nanocarrier formulations represents a complicated but mandatory step for their effective use. In our previous work we assessed the use of an autoclaving process to achieve, in one simple step, sterile self-assembled hyaluronan-cholesterol (HA-CH) and hyaluronan-riboflavin (HA-Rfv) nanohydrogels (NHs). In the present work, the effect of the high temperature on HA-CH has been studied in detail. HA-CH suspensions were characterised in terms of size and polydispersity by Dynamic Light Scattering at different temperatures and conditions; the HA-CH chemical structure and its molecular weight were assessed via FT-IR and GPC analysis after the sterilising cycle in an autoclave at 121°C for 20min. The obtained NHs were then observed with TEM and AFM microscopy, in both dry and liquid conditions. The Young’s modulus of the NHs was determined, evidencing the soft nature of these nanosystems; the critical aggregation concentration (c.a.c) of the nanosuspension was also assessed. Thereafter, alginate lyase (AL) was conjugated to NHs, with the aim of developing a useful system for therapies against bacterial infections producing alginate biofilms. The conjugation efficiency and the enzymatic activity of AL were determined after immobilisation. The AL-NHs system showed the ability to depolymerise alginate, offering an opportunity to be a useful nanosystem for the treatment of biofilm-associated infections.