Effect of Nanodiamond Surface Chemistry on Adsorption and Release of Tiopronin


Tiopronin is an FDA-approved thiol drug currently used to treat cystinuria and rheumatoid arthritis. However, due to its antioxidant properties, it may be beneficial in a variety of other conditions. One primary obstacle to its wider application is its limited bioavailability, which necessitates administration of high systemic doses to achieve localized therapeutic effects. Incorporation of a drug delivery vehicle can solve this dilemma by providing a means of controlled, targeted release. Functionalized nanodiamond is a promising theranostic platform that has demonstrated great potential for biomedical applications, including drug delivery. Design of nanodiamond theranostic platforms requires comprehensive understanding of drug-platform interactions, and the necessary physical chemical investigations have only been realized for a limited number of compounds. Towards the long-term goal of developing a nanodiamond-tiopronin treatment paradigm, this study aims to shed light on the effects of nanodiamond surface chemistry on adsorption and release of tiopronin. Specifically, adsorption isotherms were measured and fit to Langmuir and Freundlich models for carboxylated, hydroxylated, and aminated nanodiamonds, and release was monitored in solutions at pH 4.0, 5.8, 7.3, and 8.1. Our results indicate that aminated nanodiamonds exhibit the highest loading capacity while hydroxylated nanodiamonds are the most effective for sustained release. Therefore, a high degree of flexibility may be afforded by the use of nanodiamonds with different surface chemistries optimized for specific applications.



Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This work was supported by the NEI of the National Institutes of Health under award number R15EY029813 and the Richard K. Vitek/FCR Endowment at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Keywords and Phrases

Adsorption; Desorption; Drug delivery; Functionalization; Nanodiamond

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Article - Journal

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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2019