Nanogels represent an emerging class of drug delivery systems with enhanced renal clearance and serum half-life. However, synthetic polymeric nanogels are immunogenic and less biodegradable than other systems. Protein nanogels, being non-immunogenic; biodegradable; biocompatible; and mechanically, spatially, and tem-porally tunable, are gaining widespread attention. Elastin, a natural structural component of connective tissue, has enhanced vascular mobility and is highly biodegradable, biocompatible, temperature and pH sensitive, inert in the bloodstream, able to self-assemble, and able to permeate the blood-brain-barrier. In this study, the development of an Elastin Nanogel (ENG) and its functional capacity as a next generation injectable nano-drug carrier was studied. ENG was prepared via an inverse mini-emulsion technique and was characterized and found to be stable at room temperature and cytocompatible with five different prostate cancer cell lines of varied etiologies. Rhodamine-loaded ENG showed enhanced cellular uptake. Blood smear, hemolysis, CBC, PT/APTT, and C3a complement activation assays showed that ENG is vascular tissue compatible and hence meets the objectives of injectable nanogels. The formulated ENG can be efficiently used as an injectable nano-drug carrier for cancer therapy. Moreover, ENG has the potential to encapsulate hydrophobic drugs for targeted drug delivery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)