, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1221–1230 | Cite as

Physical nanochitin/microemulsion composite hydrogels for hydrophobic Nile Red release under in vitro physiological conditions

  • Zhiguo Wang
  • Rong Wang
  • Pengbo Xu
  • Juan Yu
  • Liang Liu
  • Yimin FanEmail author
Original Paper


A physical composite nanochitin/microemulsion (NCh/ME) hydrogel for a prolonged release of hydrophobic compounds (drugs) under in vitro physiological conditions was investigated. A strong physical hydrogel was prepared by an alkali gas phase coagulation bath composting NCh with an oil in water ME in which a hydrophobic dye, Nile Red (NR), was embedded to simulate a drug release process. Different release conditions, such as concentration of NCh, diameter of ME, temperature and specific surface areas, were studied. The results showed that the NCh/ME composite hydrogel effectively encapsulated NR with a prolonged release period of 60 h in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS pH 7.4, similar to physiological conditions), which demonstrated the significance of NCh/ME composite hydrogels for hydrophobic compound (drug) delivery.

Graphical abstract


Nanochitin Hydrogel Microemulsion Drug release 



We are grateful for financial support from the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0600803) and the Postgraduate Research and Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province (KYCX17-0852).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center of Efficient Processing and Utilization of Forest Resources, College of Light Industry and Food Engineering, College of Chemical EngineeringNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Lab of Biomass-Based Green Fuel and Chemicals, College of Chemical EngineeringNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina

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