Design and fabrication of magnetically functionalised core/shell microspheres for smart drug delivery
The fabrication of magnetically functionalized core/shell microspheres by using the microfluidic flow-focusing (MFF) approach is reported. The shell of each microsphere is embedded with magnetic nanoparticles, thereby enabling the microspheres to deform under an applied magnetic field. By encapsulating a drug, for example, aspirin, inside the microspheres, the drug release of the microspheres is enhanced under the compression–extension oscillations that are induced by an AC magnetic field. This active pumping mode of drug release can be controlled by varying the frequency and magnitude of the applied magnetic field as well as the time profile of the magnetic field. UV absorption measurements of cumulative aspirin release are carried out to determine the influence of these factors. The drug release behavior is found to be significantly different depending on whether the applied field varies sinusoidally or in a step-function manner with time.