pH-responsive drug delivery system based on hollow silicon dioxide micropillars coated with polyelectrolyte multilayers
We report on the fabrication of polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated hollow silicon dioxide micropillars as pH-responsive drug delivery systems. Silicon dioxide micropillars are based on macroporous silicon formed by electrochemical etching. Due to their hollow core capable of being loaded with chemically active agents, silicon dioxide micropillars provide additional function such as drug delivery system. The polyelectrolyte multilayer was assembled by the layer-by-layer technique based on the alternative deposition of cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes. The polyelectrolyte pair poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and sodium poly(styrene sulfonate) exhibited pH-responsive properties for the loading and release of a positively charged drug doxorubicin. The drug release rate was observed to be higher at pH 5.2 compared to that at pH 7.4. Furthermore, we assessed the effect of the number of polyelectrolyte bilayers on the drug release loading and release rate. Thus, this hybrid composite could be potentially applicable as a pH-controlled system for localized drug release.