In 2022, The University of Georgia's lecturer, Dr. Fariborz Sharifian Jazi’s article titled "Control of drug release from cotton fabric by nanofibrous mat" was published in International Journal of Biological Macromolecules (Elsevier, IF: 8.02). We asked him some questions about this publication. Here are his responses.
1. What impact can this research have on human life?
Drug delivery systems (DDSs) are nanostructures that can be loaded with macromolecules and used in pharmaceutical treatments. Recently, DDSs have been the fastest growing area of pharmacology with several advantages like controlled and local delivery, allowing the reduction of unwanted toxicity. They improve the effectiveness of drugs during treatment due to the capability of adjusting the amount of drug release, increasing drug bioavailability, and decreasing the side effects of drugs. Furthermore, they can almost prevent or reduce the rapid degradation of drug molecules. Selecting a correct DDS to achieve a specific release profile is essential.
In this research, we developed drug a DDS based on textile substrates as drug carriers and electrospun nanofibers as a controller of release rate.
2. How exactly is the research subject connected to these issues?
Carriers with the capability of adjusting the amount of drug release can increase drug bioavailability and decrease the side effects. Among the carriers, many biocompatible and biodegradable polymeric nanofibers have been widely investigated. In this study, ciprofloxacin, clotrimazole, and benzalkonium chloride (as hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and bipolar drugs, respectively) were loaded into the structure of the cotton fabric and cover glass by a drop-casting method for the first time. Then, the polycaprolactone and polycaprolactone/gelatin nanofibrous mats were coated on the drug-loaded cover glass and cotton fabrics via the electrospinning method for adjusting the drug release rate. This study aimed to design a controlled DDS to improve drug efficiency and decrease the side effects for controlling infectious diseases.
3. How can students get involved in this field, and why should they do so?
This field is related to Biomaterials Science and various disciplines including Medicine, Chemistry, Biology, Tissue engineering, Materials science, and Nanotechnology can get involved in this field.
Drugs have long been used to improve health and extend lives. The practice of drug delivery has changed dramatically in the past few decades and even greater changes are anticipated in the near future. Clinicians have historically attempted to target diseased or at-risk parts of the body with their therapies. Depending on the medication, the method of administration, and how our systems react, adverse effects may occasionally occur. It is common practice to administer medications locally rather than systemically in order to minimize side effects and toxicity while maximizing treatment efficacy.
Students in this subject are able to perform unique projects with remarkable achievements that can be recognized and published in prestigious international journals with a high impact factor. This field can be appealing to students who are enthusiastic to generate new ideas that promote the health and well-being of humans.
4. What were the main challenges and skills involved in conducting this research?
The main challenge for conducting the research was that the researchers were required to have sufficient knowledge about drug loading and delivery mechanisms, the characteristics of involved materials, parameters associated with electrospinning, and the parameters affecting the final properties of the drug delivery system. They studied various sources e.g., Reference Books, Chapter Books, Encyclopedia, Publications, etc. Another challenge authors faced was the optimization of the system and finding solutions for undesirable results.
Different skills are involved in the synthesis and characterization of this system. First, students should have the ability to search among various references in order to find suitable resources and analyze different research plans. Second, they must be up to date on different synthesis methods and characterization techniques such as electrospinning, XRD, SEM, FTIR, and various in vitro analyses. The most critical skill required for almost all research areas is thinking critically, finding solutions for problems, and analyzing the obtained data. In this regard, Materials Science, Medicine, Biology, Chemistry, and Nanotechnology students can contribute to the field.
5. What made you interested in researching this subject?
Conducting research and publishing numerous papers in the field of drug delivery, which aids in the improvement of treatment methods for a variety of diseases and promotes human health, we considered a new drug delivery system to develop new complex and functional materials with low toxicity, high efficacy, and controlled drug release rate.
6. Could you tell us about your collaborators?
In this research, I collaborated with researchers from Polish Academy of Sciences, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, and The University of Georgia.
7. What feedback has this particular research received so far?
Several students expressed their interest in this topic asking about collaboration opportunities in future research related to this topic. We have been also invited to contribute articles in some journals and conferences and book chapters related to this topic area. We have received some proposals for joint research programs from universities in Iran. Moreover, we received invitations to give a talk at several conferences. These provided us with new opportunities to have effective collaborations in the future.
8. What additional support did this research receive?
I want to express my gratitude to Isfahan University of Technology. The research was conducted at laboratories equipped with synthesis and characterization facilities for nanomaterials and biomaterials development.