Investigating the Formulation, Characterisation and Performance of Novel Nanomaterials for the Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Anderson, Lewis (2023). Investigating the Formulation, Characterisation and Performance of Novel Nanomaterials for the Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anaemia. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00015918

Abstract

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is one of the world's most prevalent diseases, affecting over one billion people. Traditionally, the treatment to raise iron levels within IDA sufferers has been through prescribing iron supplementation by oral administration in the form of iron salts, such as ferrous sulphate and ferrous gluconate. However, many are ineffective or cause undesirable side effects, particularly regarding the necessity for such formulations to traverse through the highly acidic environment of the stomach before reaching the duodenum for absorption. As a result, much research has been conducted into novel treatments for IDA that effectively deliver supplementary iron to IDA patients. In recent years advancements have been made in formulating new preparations of iron supplementation, such as the mimicking of Fe (III) oxo-hydroxide, found in ferritin – the iron storage protein, which has shown promise during in vivo testing. The relatively high acid lability of these Fe (III) oxo-hydroxide nanoparticles, however, limits their bioavailability via oral administration due to nanoparticle degradation while passing through the stomach.

The experiments and results within this thesis have explored the use of biocompatible polymer materials in the form of nanofibers to potentially facilitate safe passage of iron through the stomach and ultimately delivering the iron cargo to the duodenum in a bioavailable form. Fe (III) oxo-hydroxide nanoparticles and ferrous gluconate salts have been successfully loaded within pH sensitive nanofibers in which shielding has been achieved at low pH (pH 1.0), before polymer chain dissolution and iron delivery upon increasing to pH 7.2. Additionally, a novel and dynamic system has been developed, wherein the sparingly soluble iron centred complex of hemin has been shielded within a pH 1.0 environment, before the use of a secondary biocompatible polymer to increase hemin solubility upon its release at pH 7.2, thus raising its bioavailability for cellular uptake.

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