Electrospun cellulose acetate phthalate fibers for semen induced anti-HIV vaginal drug delivery

Chaobo Huang, Stefaan J. Soenen, Ellen van Gulck, Guido Vanham, Joanna Rejman, Serge Van Calenbergh, Chris Vervaet, Tom Coenye, Hans Verstraelen, Marleen Temmerman, Jo Demeester, Stefaan C. De Smedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Despite many advances in modern medicine, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) still affects the health of millions of people world-wide and much effort is put in developing methods to either prevent infection or to eradicate the virus after infection has occurred. Here, we describe the potential use of electrospun cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) fibers as a tool to prevent HIV transmission. During the electrospinning process, anti-viral drugs can easily be incorporated in CAP fibers. Interestingly, as a result of the pH-dependent solubility of CAP, the fibers are stable in vaginal fluid (the healthy vaginal flora has a pH of below 4.5), whereas the addition of small amounts of human semen (pH between 7.4 and 8.4) immediately dissolves the fibers which results in the release of the encapsulated drugs. The pH-dependent release properties have been carefully studied and we show that the released anti-viral drugs, together with the CAP which has been reported to have intrinsic antimicrobial activity, efficiently neutralize HIV in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-969
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellulose acetate phthalate
  • Drug delivery
  • Drug release
  • Electrospinning
  • HIV
  • Stimulus-responsive polymer


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