Electrospun composites of polycaprolactone and porous silicon nanoparticles for the tunable delivery of small therapeutic molecules

Steven J.P. McInnes, Thomas J. Macdonald, Ivan P. Parkin, Thomas Nann, Nicolas H. Voelcker

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This report describes the use of an electrospun composite of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers and porous silicon (pSi) nanoparticles (NPs) as an effective system for the tunable delivery of camptothecin (CPT), a small therapeutic molecule. Both materials are biodegradable, abundant, low-cost, and most importantly, have no known cytotoxic effects. The composites were treated with and without sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to investigate the wettability of the porous network for drug release and cell viability measurements. CPT release and subsequent cell viability was also investigated. We observed that the cell death rate was not only affected by the addition of our CPT carrier, pSi, but also by increasing the rate of dissolution via treatment with NaOH. This is the first example of loading pSi NPs as a therapeutics nanocarrier into electronspun PCL fibers and this system opens up new possibilities for the delivery of molecular therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Drug delivery
  • Electrospinning
  • Poly(ε-caprolactone)
  • Porous silicon

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