The objective of this work was to investigate the use of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) as a drug delivery excipient. NCC crystallites, prepared by an acid hydrolysis method, were shown to have nanoscopic dimensions and exhibit a high degree of crystallinity. These crystallites bound significant quantities of the water soluble, ionizable drugs tetratcycline and doxorubicin, which were released rapidly over a 1-day period. Cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) was bound to the surface of NCC and increased the zeta potential in a concentration-dependent manner from -55 to 0 mV. NCC crystallites with CTAB-modified surfaces bound significant quantities of the hydrophobic anticancer drugs docetaxel, paclitaxel, and etoposide. These drugs were released in a controlled manner over a 2-day period. The NCC-CTAB complexes were found to bind to KU-7 cells, and evidence of cellular uptake was observed.
Jackson, J. K., Letchford, K., Wasserman, B. Z., Ye, L., Hamad, W. Y., & Burt, H. M. (2011). The use of nanocrystalline cellulose for the binding and controlled release of drugs. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 6, 321–330. https://doi.org/10.2147/ijn.s16749