Thermo-responsive polymer-functionalized mesoporous carbon for controlled drug release
A novel responsive drug delivery system based on poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM) functionalized ordered mesoporous carbon (CMK-3) is developed. The polymer-functionalized CMK-3 was obtained by a combination of simple surface modification of CMK-3 and in situ internal polymerization of PNIPAM. The formation of the PNIPAM inside the CMK-3 was confirmed by thermal gravimetric analysis, Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and N2 adsorption/desorption measurements. Controlled drug release tests through the porous network of the PNIPAM functionalized CMK-3 were carried out by measuring the uptake and release of ibuprofen in vitro. The release profiles exhibited a pronounced transition at around 20–25 °C. This thermo-sensitive release property of this delivery system was further confirmed by temperature-variable hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. The internal PNIPAM layers acted as a storage gate as well as a release switch in response to the stimuli of environment.