Alginate/Montmorillonite nancomposites for the delivery of curcumin

A.R. Ramadan, M. Ahmed
The American University in Cairo,

Keywords: alginate, Montmorillonite, curcumin, controlled release


Curcumin is a well-known traditional medicine with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Its pharmacological mechanism of action and safety have been studied to investigate its use in clinical and therapeutic applications. However, its low water solubility and rapid metabolism represent challenges to this end. Different approaches have been to overcome these challenges, with recent attention focusing on approaches based on nanotechnology, with attention given to clay-polymer nanocomposites. Alginate/ montmorillonite (MMT) nanocomposites are used as a drug delivery system due to numerous advantages of both components such as the high loading capacity of MMT and the ability of alginate release encapsulated drugs in a controlled manner. In this work, curcumin-loaded alginate/MMT nanocomposites were prepared and their release behavior investigated. This was studied in different biorelevant media: fasting gastric, fasting intestinal, and fed intestinal media. Different release behaviors were found. These were influenced by the media pH, the concentration of the natural solubilizing components such as phospholipids and bile salts of the intestine, and more importantly by the ratio of curcumin-loaded MMT to alginate. Findings reveal the promising use of alginate/MMT nanocomposites as a sustained release delivery system for curcumin. The release of curcumin is hindered in the gastric environment and starts in the intestinal environment. Maximum and sustained release is better in a fasting state.