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A Review for the Synthesis of Silk Fibroin Nanoparticles with Different Techniques and Their Ability to be Used for Drug Delivery

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 4 ]


Olga Gianak, George Z. Kyzas, Victoria F. Samanidou* and Eleni A. Deliyanni*   Pages 339 - 348 ( 10 )


Background: Silk fibroin is the main protein of silk, and it has recently been evaluated for drug delivery applications due to its excellent properties. Specifically, silk fibroin exhibits good biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. Fibroin nanoparticles have attracted attention due to their high binding ability to different drugs as well as their ability for controlled drug release. The improvement of the therapeutic efficiency of drug encapsulation is important and depends on the particle size, the chemical structure and the properties of the silk fibroin nanoparticles.

Methods: There is a variety of methods for the preparation of fibroin nanoparticles such as (i) electrospraying and desolvation method, (ii) supercritical fluid technologies, (iii) capillary-microdot technique, (iv) salting out etc. Furthermore, various techniques have been used for the characterization of nanoparticles such as SEM (scanning electron microscopy), TEM (transmission electron microscopy), DLS (dynamic light scattering), Zeta-potential and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy). Different drugs (paclitaxel, curcumin, 5-fluorouracil etc) have been encapsulated in fibroin nanoparticles.

Results: Each separated synthesis method has different advantages such as (i) high yield, (ii) avoid use of toxic solvents, (iii) low cost, (iv) controllable particle size, (v) no organic solvent residue, (vi) simplicity of operation, (vii) small particles size, (viii) homeliness of operation, (ix) restrainable particle size, (x) easy and safe to operate, (xi) no use of organic solvent. Moreover, some major drugs studied are Floxuridine, Fluorouracil, Curcumin, Doxorubicin, Metotrexate, Paclitaxel and Doxorubicin, Horseradish peroxidase. All the above combinations (preparation method-drug) are studied in detail.

Conclusion: Various drugs have been encapsulated successfully in silk fibroin and all of them exhibit a significant release rate. Finally, the encapsulation efficiency and release rate depend on the molecular weight of the drugs and it can be adjusted by controlling the crystallinity and concentration of silk fibroin.


Drug delivery, electrospraying and desolvation method, fibroin, nanoparticles, protein of silk, supercritical fluid technologies.


Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki GR- 54124, Hephaestus Advanced Laboratory, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology, Kavala, GR-65404, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki GR- 54124, Division of Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, GR-54124

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