Influence of PDLA nanoparticles size on drug release and interaction with cells

Ana Luísa Cartaxo, Ana R. Costa-Pinto, Albino Martins, Susana Faria, Virgínia M. F. Gonçalves, Maria Elizabeth Tiritan, Helena Ferreira, Nuno M. Neves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) are strong candidates for the development of systemic and targeted drug delivery applications. Their size is a determinant property since it defines the NP–cell interactions, drug loading capacity, and release kinetics. Herein, poly(d,l-lactic acid) (PDLA) NPs were produced by the nanoprecipitation method, in which the influence of type and concentration of surfactant as well as PDLA concentration were assessed. The adjustment of these parameters allowed the successful production of NPs with defined medium sizes, ranging from 80 to 460 nm. The surface charge of the different NPs populations was consistently negative. Prednisolone was effectively entrapped and released from NPs with statistically different medium sizes (i.e., 80 or 120 nm). Release profiles indicate that these systems were able to deliver appropriate amounts of drug with potential applicability in the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Both NPs populations were cytocompatible with human endothelial and fibroblastic cells, in the range of concentrations tested (0.187–0.784 mg/mL). However, confocal microscopy revealed that within the range of sizes tested in our experiments, NPs presenting a medium size of 120 nm were able to be internalized in endothelial cells. In summary, this study demonstrates the optimization of the processing conditions to obtain PDLA NPs with narrow size ranges, and with promising performance for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-493
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Cell internalization
  • Cytocompatibility
  • PDLA nanoparticles
  • Prednisolone
  • Size distribution


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