Hollow magnetic fibers for trigger based drug release were synthesized using one-step co-axial electrospinning (COX-ES). This was achieved by encapsulating the antifungal active 'ketoconazole' (KCZ) and iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NPs) in composite form within the core shell polymeric matrix material (polycaprolactone, PCL) during the COX-ES process. Dimethyl silicone oil was used as the inner core (liquid) of co-flowing solutions, which subsequently perfused out of the two-phase electrospun microstructures to form hollow fibers. Resulting drug-loaded magnetic hollow fibers were characterized using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier Transform Infra-Red. The tensile strength and magnetization properties of composite fibers were also assessed. KCZ drug concentration in electrospinning solutions strongly influenced resulting fiber morphology, drug loading efficiency and release. Expedited drug release during a slow-sustained phase was demonstrated through the application of an auxiliary magnetic field. Variations in tensile strength (~1.3-6.3 MPa) were due to composite fiber components compromising polymer chain integrity. In-vitro cell studies (using human cervical carcinoma cell lines) demonstrated fiber biocompatibility. The present study demonstrates the potential application of magnetic hollow fibers for controlled treatment of fungal infections and antimicrobial indications.
Bibliographical noteNew member of staff - no accepted version - not for REF