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IJPRD, 2014; Vol 6(07):September-2014 (122 - 133)

International Standard Serial Number 0974 9446

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NANOSPONGE: A REVIEW
Pooja Joshi*1,
Sayantan Mukhopadhyay1, Lakshmayya1
1

Department of Pharmacy, GRD (PG) IMT, Dehradun, Uttarakhand-248001, India

ABSTRACT
Nanomedicine open new therapeutic avenue for attacking
disease
and
for
improving
treatment
success
rate.Nanomedicine has developed many drug delivering
systems like nanoparticles, nanoemulsions, nanosuspensions,
nanosponges etc., to overcome the problems of
bioavailability out of which nanosponge is an advanced drug
delivery system which offers diverse advantages than the
other available systems. Nanosponges are tiny sponges with
a size of about a virus, which can be filled with a wide variety
of drugs. Both lipophilic as well as hydrophilic drugs can be
loaded into nanosponges. Nanosponge is a novel and
emerging technology which offers controlled drug delivery for
topical use. Nanosponges play a vital role in targeting drug
delivery in a controlled manner. Targeted drug delivery
system can be used to treat various cancers like multiple
myeloma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma,
lymphoma and other cancers. Important character of these
sponges is their aqueous solubility; this allows the use of
these systems effectively for drugs with poor solubility. This
review focuses on the method of preparation, advantage,
disadvantage,
characterization
and
applicaton
of
nanosponges.

Correspondence Author

Pooja Joshi
Department of Pharmacy,
GRD (PG) IMT, Dehradun,
Uttarakhand-248001,
India
Email: joshi.pooja91@gmail.com

Keywords- Nanosponge, Tumor, Oral drug delivery, Topical


delivery, Toxins, Solubility enhancement etc.
INTRODUCTION
In the last 35 years, the growth of nanotechnology
has opened several new vistas in medical sciences,
especially in the field of drug delivery. New and

new moieties are coming handy for treating


diseases. The biotechnology has also produced
several potent drugs, but many of these drugs
encounter problems delivering them in biological

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systems. Their therapeutic efficacy is significantly
marred owing to their incompatibilities and specific
chemical structure. Now a days, targeting drug
delivery is the major problem which is being faced
by the researchers. The input of todays
nanotechnology is that it allows real progress to
achieve temporal and spatial site-specific delivery.
The market of nanotechnology and drug delivery
systems based on this technology will be widely felt
by the pharmaceutical industry. In recent years, the
number of patents and products in this field is
increasing significantly. The most straight forward
application is in cancer treatment, with several
products in market such as Caelyx, Doxil ,
Transdrug , Abraxane, etc [1]. Targeted drug
delivery, sometimes called smart drug delivery [2], is
a method of delivering medication to a patient in a
manner that increases the concentration of the
medication in some parts of the body relative to
others. The goal of a targeted drug delivery system
is to prolong, localize, target and have a protected
drug interaction with the diseased tissue. Targeted
drug delivery systems have been developed to
optimize regenerative techniques. The system is
based on a method that delivers a certain amount
of a therapeutic agent for a prolonged period of
time to a targeted diseased area within the body.
This helps maintain the required plasma and tissue
drug levels in the body, thereby preventing any
damage to the healthy tissue via the drug. The drug
delivery system is highly integrated and requires
various disciplines, such as chemists, biologists, and
engineers, to join forces to optimize this system.
Nanosponges are a new class of materials and
made of microscopic particles with few
nanometers wide cavities, in which a large variety
of substances can be encapsulated. Nanosponges
are tiny sponges with a size of about a virus, which
can be filled with a wide variety of drugs. These
tiny sponges can circulate around the body until
they encounter the specific target site and stick on
the surface and begin to release the drug in a
[3]
controlled
and
predictable
manner
.
"Nanosponge," uses a nanoparticle -sized system
to deliver the drug payload. These nanoparticles
circulate in the body until they encounter the
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surface of a tumor cell, where they adhere to the


surface and begin releasing the drug in a
controllable and predictable fashion. The average
diameter of a nanosponge is below 1 m but
fractions below 500 nm can be selected [4]. The
nanosponges could be either paracrystalline or in
crystalline form. The loading capacity of
nanosponges depends mainly on degree of
crystallization. Paracrystalline nanosponges can
show different loading capacities. Nanosponges are
like a three dimensional network or scaffold whose
backbone is long length of polyester. The long
length polyester strands are mixed in solution with
small molecules called cross-linkers that have an
affinity for certain portions of the polyester. They
cross link segments of the polyester to form a
spherical shape that has many pockets (or cavities)
where drugs can be stored. The polyester is
predictably biodegradable, which means that when
it breaks up in the body, the drug can be released
on a known schedule [5]. The nanosponges are solid
in nature and can be formulated as oral,
parenteral, topical or inhalational dosage forms.
For oral administration, these may be dispersed in
a matrix of excipients, diluents, lubricants and
anticaking agents which is suitable for the
preparation of tablets or capsules. For parenteral
administration, these can be simply mixed with
sterile water, saline or other aqueous solution [6].
For topical administration, they can be effectively
incorporated into topical hydrogel [7,8].
ADVANTAGES

Targeted site specific drug delivery.


These particles are capable of carrying both
lipophilic and hydrophilic substances.
For improvement of the solubility of poorly water
soluble molecules [9].
Compared to other nanoparticles, nanosponges are
porous, non toxic and stable at high temperatures
up to 300C [3].
Particles can be made smaller or larger by varying
the proportion of cross-linker to polymer.

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The drug profiles can be tailored from fast, medium


to slow release, preventing over- or under-dosing
of the therapy.
They can be used to mask unpleasant flavours, to
convert liquid substances to solids [3].
Biodegradable [10].
Predictable release [11].
These are self sterilizing as their average pore size
0.25m where bacteria cannot penetrate [11].
Non irritating, non mutagenic, non allergenic and
non toxic [12].
DISADVANTAGES
The main disadvantage of these nanosponges is
their ability to include only small molecules. The
nanosponges could be either paracrystalline or in
crystalline form. The loading capacity of
nanosponges depends mainly on degree of
crystallisation. Paracrystalline nanosponges can
show different loading capacities.
METHODS OF PREPARATION
Solvent method:
Mix the polymer with suitable solvent such as
Dimethylformamide, Dimethylsulfoxide. Then add
this mixture to excess quantity of cross linker,
preferably in cross-linker/polymer molar ratio of
1:4. Prefered cross linkers are carbonyl compounds
(dimethyl carbonate and carbonyl diimidazole) [6].
The reaction is carried out at temperature ranging
from 10C to the reflux temperature of the solvent,
for time ranging from 1 to 48 hour. After
completion of the reaction allow the solution to
cool at room temperature and the product is added
to large excess of bi-distilled water. The recovery of
the product is done by filtration under vacuum and
subsequent purification by prolonged soxhlet
extraction with ethanol. Drying the product under
vacuum completes the process [13].

Ultarsound-Assisted synthesis

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In this method nanosponges can be obtained by


reacting polymers with cross-linkers in the absence
of solvent and under sonication. The nanosponges
obtained by this method will be spherical and
uniform in size [14]. Mix the polymer and the crosslinker in a particular molar ratio in a flask. Place the
flask in an ultrasound bath filled with water and
heat it to 90C. Sonicate the mixture for 5 hours.
Then allow the mixture to cool and break the
product roughly. Wash the product with water to
remove the non reacted polymer and subsequently
purify by prolonged soxhlet extraction with
ethanol. Dry the obtained product under vacuum
and store at 25C until further use [9,13].
Emulsion Solvent Diffusion Method
Nanosponges can be prepared by using ethyl
cellulose (EC) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Ethyl
cellulose is dissolved in dichloromethane. Add this
mixture into aqueous solution of polyvinyl alcohol.
Stir the mixture at 1000 rpm for 2 hours in a
magnetic stirrer. Then filter the product and dry it
in an oven at 40C for 24 hours [8].
From Hyper Cross- Linked - Cyclodextrins:
Nanosponges from beta cyclodextrin prepared as
follows [14]:
100 ml of Dimethyl formamide was placed in round
bottom flask and 17.42 g of anhydrous
cyclodextrin was added to achieve complete
dissolution. Then 9.96 g of carbonyl diimidazole
(61.42mmol) was added and solution allowed for
reacting at 100c for 4 hrs.Once condensation
polymerization completed the transparent block of
hyper crosslinked -CD was roughly ground and an
excess of de ionised water added to remove DMF.
Finally residual bi-product or unreacted reagents
were completely removed by Soxhlet extraction
with ethanol. The white powder thus obtained was
dried overnight in an oven at 60c and
subsequently grounded in mortar. The fine powder
obtained was dispersed in water. The colloidal part
that remain suspended in water was recovered and

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lyophilised. The obtained nanosponges are
submicron in dimensions and with a spherical
shape.
FACTORS INFLUENCE NANOSPONGE FORMATION
Type of polymer and Cross linkers:
Type of polymer used can influence the formation
as well as the performance of Nanosponges. For
complexation, the cavity size of nanosponge should
be suitable to accommodate a drug molecule of
particular size. Efficient crosslinkers convert
molecular nanocavities into three-dimensional,
nanoporous structures. Depending upon the nature
of crosslinkers, water soluble or insoluble
nanosponge structures are formed. Hydrophilic
nanosponges are formed when epichlorohydrin [15]
is used as crosslinker. Hydrophobic nanosponges
can be synthesized using diphenylcarbonate [16] or
pyromellitic anhydride [17], diisocyanates ,
carbonyldiimidazoles and other crosslinkers and
may serve as sustained release carriers for watersoluble drugs including peptide and protein drugs
[9]
.

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while an organic solvent tends to release the


organic molecules trapped in nanosponges. These
strong attractions between host and guest
molecules depend on optimized chemical and
physical interactions such as mutual matching of
polarity, size, hydrophobic environment and
structural properties [19].
Temperature:
The stability constant of a Drug/Nanosponge
complex is dependent on temperature changes.
The magnitude of apparent stability constant
decreases due to reduction in drug/nanosponge
interaction forces as the temperature increases [20].
Method of preparation:
The method of loading the drug into the
nanosponge
can
affect
Drug/Nanosponge
complexation. However, the effectiveness of a
method depends on the nature of the drug and
polymer, in many cases freeze drying was found to
be most effective for drug complexation [20].

Type of drugs

Degree of substitution:

Drug molecules to be complexed with nanosponges


should have certain characteristics mentioned
below [18]:
Molecular weight between 100 and 400 daltons.
Drug molecule consists of less than five condensed
rings.
Solubility in water is less than 10mg/ml.
Melting point of the substance is below 250C.
Compounds with high melting points do not have
high stability constant values when loaded into
nanosponges.

The complexation ability of the nanosponge may


be greatly affected by type, number and position of
the substituent on the parent molecule. The type
of substitution is important because -CD
derivatives are available in various forms differing
in functional groups present on the surface of the
cyclodextrin derivative. The higher the number of
substituents, the greater is the probability of
undergoing higher crosslinking. Higher degree of
crosslinking will yield highly porous nanosponges
due to more interconnections between polymers
forming a mesh type network [20].

Medium used for interaction:


CHARACTERIZATION OF NANOSPONGES
The interaction between NS cavities and targeted
compounds strongly depends on the medium;
namely, a hydrophilic medium will drive the
organic guest molecules into hydrophobic cavities,

To study the interaction of nanosponges with


loaded drugs and to understand the process of
their
synthesis,
fabrication
and
design,

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nanosponges are characterized by the following
parameters.
1.
Phase Solubility
The effect of NSs on drug solubility is investigated
by the phase solubility technique [21]. To determine
phase solubility constants, excess drug is added
into suitable solvents to obtain saturated solutions.
Saturated drug concentration is treated with
varying concentrations of blank nanosponges, 1:1,
1:2, 1:3, etc. As there is an increase in their
concentration, more of the drug interacts with NSs.
The study is carried out until equilibrium is
obtained. A plot of NS concentration vs. drug
concentration is drawn and the type of plot is
defined with the help of the Higuchi and Connors
classification [22].
2.
Particle
Size
Determination
and
Polydispersity Index
The particle size of Nanosponge is an important
criteria in the optimization process. The particle
size can be determined by dynamic light scattering
using 90 Plus particle sizer equipped with MAS
OPTION particle sizing software. From this, the
mean diameter and polydispersity index can be
determined [13]. The particle size can be
determined by scanning electron microscopy
(SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM),
atomic force microscopy (AFM), and freeze fracture
electron microscopy (FFEM) [23].
Polydispersity Index can also be measured from
Dynamic
Light
Scattering
Instruments.Polydispersity is index of width or
spread or variation within the particle size
distribution. Table 1. Shows polydispersity index
for different type of dispersion.
TABLE 1: POLYDISPERSITY INDEX FOR DIFFERENT
TYPE OF DISPERSION.
POLYDISPERSITY
TYPE OF DISPERSION
INDEX
0-0.05
Monodisperse standard
0.05-0.08
Nearly monodisperse
0.08-0.7
Mid range
polydispersity
0.7
Very polydisperse

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3.
Zeta Potential
Zeta potential is measure of surface charge.
Surface charge is the parameter that affects body
distribution and interaction with the biological
environment. The surface charge of Nanosponge
can be determined by using Zeta sizer [24].
4.
Microscopic study
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) can be
used to study the microscopic aspects of the drug,
nanosponges and the product (drug/nanosponge
complex). The difference in crystallization state of
the raw materials and the product seen under
electron microscope indicates the formation of the
inclusion complexes [25,26].
5.
Porosity
Porosity study is performed to check the extent of
nanochannels and nanocavities formed. Porosity of
nanosponges is assessed with a helium
pycnometer, since helium gas is able to penetrate
inter- and intra-particular channels of materials.
The true volume of material is determined by the
helium displacement method [27]. Owing to their
porous nature, nanosponges exhibit higher
porosity compared to the parent polymer used to
fabricate the system.
6.
Crystallinity
To assess the interaction pattern, crystallinity and
nature of the developed nanosponges. thermal
analyses are carried out using a DSC instrument.
The thermogram obtained by DTA and DSC can be
observed for broadening, shifting and appearance
of new peaks or disappearance of certain peaks.
DSC thermograms of the complexes did not show
the melting peak corresponding to the drug; this
indicates that the drug is no longer crystalline and
confirms its interaction with the NS structure [28,29].
7.
Compatibility studies
The compatibility of drug with adjuvants can be
determined by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
and Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR).
8.
X-ray diffractometry
Powder X-ray diffractometry can be used to detect
inclusion complexation in the solid state. When the
drug molecule is liquid (since liquid have no

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diffraction pattern of their own), the diffraction
pattern of a newly formed substance clearly differs
from that of uncomplexed nanosponge. This
difference of diffraction pattern indicates the
complex formation. When the drug compound is a
solid substance, a comparison has to be made
between the diffractogram of the assumed
complex and that of the mechanical mixture of the
drug and polymer molecules.
9.
Single Crystal X ray Analysis
This method is used to determine detailed
Inclusion structure and mode of interaction. The
interaction between the host and guest molecule
can be identified and precise geometrical
relationship can be established [25].
10.
Resiliency (Viscoelastic properties)
Resiliency of sponges can be modified to produce
bead lets that is softer or firmer according to the
needs of the final formulation. Increased
crosslinking tends to slow down the rate of release.
Hence resiliency of sponges will be studied and
optimized as per the requirement by considering
the release as a function of cross-linking with time
[30]
.
11.
Loading Efficiency
The loading efficiency of nanosponges can be
determined by the quantitative estimation of drug
loaded
into
nanosponges
by
UV
spectrophotometer & HPLC methods [3].
Loading
Efficiency
=
(
Actual
drug
content/Theoretical drug content) x 100
12.
Production Yield
The production yield (PY) can be determined by
calculating initial weight of raw materials and final
weight of nanosponges [12].
Production yield = [Practical mass of
nanosponge/Theoretical mass(Polymer+Drug)] x
100
13.
Swelling and water uptake [31]
For swellable polymers like polyamidoamine
nanosponges, water uptake can be determined by
soaking the prepared nanosponges in aqueous
solvent.
Swelling and water uptake can be calculated using
following equations :

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1. Percentage of Swelling = (Marking of the cylinder


at specific time points /Initial marking before
soaking) x 100
2. Percentage of Water uptake =( Mass of
the Hydrogel after 72 hrs /Initial mass of dry
polymer) x 100
14.
In Vitro Drug release study
Several procedure can be used to study the
drug release from the nanosponge which are as
follows:

Dissolution profile of nanosponge can be


1.
studied by use of the dissolution apparatus USP
xxiii with a modified basket consisted of 5m
stainless steel mesh. Speed of the rotation is 150
rpm. The dissolution medium is selected while
considering solubility of actives to ensure sink
conditions. Samples from the dissolution medium
can be analyzed by a suitable analytical method [32].
2.
In vitro release kinetics experiments are
performed using a multi-compartment rotating
cell; an aqueous dispersion of nanosponges (1 ml)
containing the drug is placed in the donor
compartment, while the receptor compartment,
separated by a hydrophilic dialysis membrane, is
filled with phosphate buffer at pH 7.4 or pH 1.2.
Experiment is carried out for 24 h. At fixed times,
the receptor buffer is completely withdrawn and
replaced with fresh buffer. The amount of drug in
the medium is determined by a suitable analytical
method
and drug release is calculated to
determine the release pattern [31].
3.
Drug release from the nanosponge can be
measured across the dialysis membrane using
Franz diffusion cell with a diffusional area of 2.26
cm2 and receptor volume of 11 ml. The dialysis
membrane soaked in receptor medium for 8hrs is
used as barrier between donor and receptor
compartment. A one gram nanosponge was placed
on the membrane surface in the donor
compartment that was sealed from the

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atmosphere with aluminium foil. The receptor


volume filled with 11 ml of phosphate buffer pH
6.8 (skin pH). During the experiment the solution of
receptor side compartment was kept at 370.5c
and stirred at 100 rpm with Teflon coated magnetic
stirring bars. Aliquots were collected from the
receptor compartment at designated time intervals
and replaced by the same volume of fresh receptor
solution to maintain sink condition and constant
volume. The sample was analysed using UV
spectrophotometer [8].

Incorporation of camptothecin in Nanosponge has


led to a prolonged-release profile in an active form,
hindering the hydrolysis of the lactone form and
resulting in increased stability. Curcumin, the
extract from the dried roots of rhizome curcuma
shown potential application as a tumor
treatment.An Nanosponge formulation of curcumin
provided efficient delivery of encapsulated
curcumin, increasing its solubilization efficiency
and improving stability by reducing hydrolytic
degradation and biotransformation for longer
periods of time [33].

APPLICATION

Nanosponge soaks up toxins from Blood

Nanosponge for targeting cancerous tumor

Detoxification treatments such as toxin-targeted


anti-virulence therapy [34,35] offer ways to cleanse
the body of virulence factors that are caused by
bacterial infections, venomous injuries and
biological
weaponry.
Because
existing
detoxification platforms such as antisera,
monoclonal antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors
[36,37]
and molecularly imprinted polymers [38] act by
targeting the molecular structures of toxins,
customized treatments are required for different
diseases. A novel vaccine based on "nanosponges"
that sequester toxic, pore-forming toxoidssuch
as that produced by MRSA (methicylin resistant
Staphylococcus aureus)permits presentation of
these toxins to immune system defensive cells
without danger of damaging them. It is not possible
to deliver a native pore-forming toxin to immune
cells without damaging the cells. MRSA, or
methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus
aureus,
produces a pore-forming toxin called alphahaemolysin that punches holes in cell membranes,
causing the cells to leak to death. The toxin is so
powerful that, unaltered, it kills immune cells.
Conventional vaccines that use the toxin have to
weaken it through heat or chemical processing, but
this also makes them less effective. To get around
this problem, investigators at the University of
California, San Diego (USA) developed nanoparticle
that mimics a human blood cell so that it can
circulate through our bloodstream soaking up
bacterial infections and toxins. The nanosponges

Nanoscopic delivery devices have been recently


received considerable attention due to the ability
to combine features that are difficult to achieve
with a drug alone. The tiny sponges, about the size
of a virus, circulate around the body until they
encounter the surface of a tumor cell, where they
stick to the surface (or are sucked into the cell) and
begin releasing their potent cargo in a controllable
and predictable fashion. Targeted delivery systems
of this type have several basic advantages. Because
the drug is released at the tumor instead of
circulating widely through the body, it should be
more effective for a given dosage. It also should
have fewer harmful side effects because smaller
amounts of the drug come into contact with
healthy tissue. Another major advantage is that the
nanosponge particles are soluble in water.
Encapsulating the anti-cancer drug in the
nanosponge allows the use of hydrophobic drugs
that do not dissolve readily in water. Currently,
these drugs must be mixed with another chemical,
called an adjuvant reagent, which reduces the
efficacy of the drug and can have adverse side
effects. Camptothecin (cam), a plant alkaloid and a
potent antitumor agent, has a limited therapeutic
utility because of its poor aqueous solubility,
lactone ring instability and serious side effects the
lactone ring at physiological pH opens up and
produces the inactive carboxylate form.
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are made up of a biocompatible polymer core and
covered by an outer layer of red blood cell
membrane. The red blood cell coating allows the
nanosponge to incorporate and hold I alphahemolysin toxin without compromising the toxins
structural integrity through heating or chemical
processing. Despite being intact structurally, the
trapped toxoid is rendered incapable of damaging
other cells. The nanosponges can use untreated
toxin, which acts as a much more potent immunity
trigger. The scientists believe tailored nanosponge
vaccines could be developed to neutralise poreforming toxins from a range of bacteria and other
sources, such as snake venom.It might even be
possible to produce nanosponges capable of
targeting a number of different toxins at once.
Encapsulation of Gases

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to solve. Many technological approaches have


been investigated. The ability of cyclodextrins to
form inclusion complexes with various molecules is
widely used in the pharmaceutical field as a
strategy to increase the aqueous solubility and,
consequently, bioavailability of lipophilic drugs. For
hydrophilic or moderately polar drugs this
approach is less effective, and consequently
cyclodextrin derivatives have been investigated [32].
Nanosponges can improve the wetting and
solubility of molecules with very poor solubility in
water. The drugs can be molecularly dispersed
within the nanosponge structure and then released
as molecules, avoiding the dissolution step.
Consequently, the apparent solubility of the drug
can be increased.
Oral drug delivery

Gases play important role in medicine, either for


diagnostic or treatment purposes. It is sometime
difficult to deliver oxygen in appropriate form and
dosage in clinical practice. The deficiency of
adequate oxygen supply, named hypoxia, is related
to various pathologies, from inflammation to
cancer. Therefore the design of delivery systems
providing oxygen would be necessary [39].
Cyclodextrin nanosponges (NS) are biocompatible
nanoporous nanoparticles, obtained by the crosslinking of cyclodextrins [15], with the capacity of
encapsulating active molecules [5,25] due to the
cooperation of cyclodextrin (CD) cavities and crosslinker network. Nanosponge was used to form
inclusion complexes with three different gases, i.e.
1-methylcyclopropene, oxygen and carbondioxide.
In future, they could be one useful tool for the
delivery of some vital gases.

The dissolution rate of a solid drug is a limiting


factor for oral bioavailability. For hydrophobic
drugs the dissolution process acts as the ratecontrolling step and, therefore, determines the
rate and degree of absorption. As a consequence,
many hydrophobic drugs show erratic and
incomplete absorption from the gastrointestinal
tract. Drug which are particularly critical for
formulation in terms of solubility can be
successfully delivered by loading into nanosponge.
cyclodextrin based nanosponge can be used to
increase the solubility ,dissolution rate stability of
drug and to mask the unpleasant flavour of drugs.
Oral delivery of drugs using bioerodible polymers,
especially for colon specific delivery and controlled
release drug delivery system thus reducing drug
toxicity and improving patient compliance by
providing site particular drug delivery system and
prolonging dosage intervals [8].

Solubility enhancement

Topical drug delivery

One of the greatest limits to the development of


various pharmaceuticals is the low water solubility
of many drugs. About 40% of new drugs are poorly
soluble in water, which hinders their clinical
application. The formulation of poorly watersoluble drugs constitutes a problem that is difficult
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Nanosponges can be used in gels or creams for


topical application. These are used for the passive
targeting of cosmetic agents to skin, there by
achieving major benefits such as reduction of total
dose and retention of dosage form on the skin [40].
These nanosponges can be effectively incorporated

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International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research & Development


onto topical systems for prolonged release and skin
retention thus reducing the variability in drug
absorption, toxicity and improving patient
compliance by prolonging dosing intervals.
Nanosponges can significantly reduce the irritation
of drugs without reducing their efficacy [8].
Nanosponges as a carrier for biocatalysts
Cyclodextrin nanosponges act as carriers for
enzymes, proteins, vaccines or antibodies. Proteins
perform numerous functions, such as oxygen
transport, maintenance of the structure of some
tissues, reception and transduction of signals in the
cells, immune response, and catalysis in metabolic
processes. This latter function is performed by
enzymes. Many industrial processes involving
chemical transformation present operational
disadvantages. Non-specific reactions lead to low
yields, and the frequent need to operate at high
temperatures and pressures requires the
consumption of large amounts of energy, and very
large amounts of cooling water in the
"downstream" process. The reactors must often be
made of materials resistant to drastic temperature,
pressure, acidity or alkalinity reaction conditions,
leading to an increase in plant manufacturing costs.
All these drawbacks can be eliminated or
considerably reduced by using enzymes as
biocatalysts. Enzymes operate under mild reaction
conditions, have a high reaction speed, and are
highly specific. In view of their efficiency, only small
amounts of enzyme are needed to transform large
volumes of reagents. They have a beneficial effect
on the environment because they reduce energy
consumption and reduce the production of
pollutants. Developments in genetic engineering
have increased the stability, economy and
specificity of enzymes, and the number of their
industrial applications is continually increasing.
Examples of industrially useful enzymes include
alpha amylase, trypsin, cellulase and pectinase for
fruit juice clarification processes, ligninase to break
down lignin, lipase in the detergent industry and
biodiesel production, etc.

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Antiviral application
Nanosponges can be useful in the ocular, nasal,
pulmonary administration routes. The selective
delivery of antiviral drugs or small interfering RNA
(siRNA) to the nasal epithelia & lungs can be
accomplished by nanocarriers in order to target
viruses that infect the RTI such as respiratory
sinctial virus, influenza virus & rhinovirus. They can
also be used for HIV, HBV, and HSV. The drugs
which are currently in use as nano delivery system
are zidovudine, saquinavir, interferon- , acyclovir
(Eudragit based) [41].
Floriculture
Nanosponges have been recently developed and
proposed for delivering preservative and anti ethylene compounds in order to improve cut
flower vase life. Exposure to ethylene can reduce
flower longevity by causing undesirable
physiological disorders to vegetative and flowering
organs. The negative effects of ethylene can be
significantly delayed by treatment with inhibitors
of ethylene action, such as silver thiosulfate (STS)
[42]
, 2,5-norbornadiene (2,5-NBD) [43,44] and 1methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) [45,46]. Non-volatile
formulation of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP)
embedded in different cyclodextrin (CD)-based
nanosponges (NSs) extend the post harvest
longevity of an ethylene-sensitive carnation
cultivar.
CONCLUSION
From the above study it is concluded that
nanosponges can be effectively used for tissue
targeting and release the drug in predictable
manner. Nanosponge can entrap wide variety of
substances and thus improve their stability,
increase elegance and reduce side effects.
Nanosponges enable the insoluble drugs and
protect the active moieties from physicochemical
degradation and controlled release. Because of
their small size and spherical shape, nanosponges
have the potential to be formulated into a wide
range of dosage forms such as parenteral, aerosol,

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International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research & Development


topical, tablets and capsules. Nanosponge is an
emerging technology for topical drug delivery.
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