In vitro inhibition of uterine contractions using electrospun nanofibers loaded with nifedipine and ML7

Karasu Y., Ertuş M. D., ÖNAL D., Topçu B., EROĞLU H., PEHLİVANOĞLU B.

European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol.28, no.5, pp.1891-1903, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.26355/eurrev_202403_35603
  • Journal Name: European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1891-1903
  • Keywords: Ca+2 channel blocker, Myosin light chain kinase inhibitor, Polymeric nanofiber formulation, Preterm Birth
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


OBJECTIVE: To formulate a nanofiber-based controlled drug delivery system that could be effective in preventing uterine contractions and can be used for the treatment of preterm labor. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We utilized uterine tissue samples obtained from ten pregnant women who underwent cesarean section at term to investigate the effect of nanofibers on spontaneous and induced myometrial contractions. We prepared nifedipine and ML7-loaded nanofibers using the electrospinning method with Poly(D,Llactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) polymer, resulted in seven groups of nanofibers, including a control group. Group I served as the control, Group II was non-drug loaded nanofiber, Group III was nifedipine (10-5 M) loaded nanofiber, Group IV was ML7 (3x10-5 M) loaded nanofiber, Group V was ML7 (3x10-5 M) and nifedipine (10-5 M) nanofiber, Group VI was ML7 (3x10-5 M) and nifedipine (3x10-5 M) nanofiber, and Group VII was ML7 (3x10-5 M) and nifedipine (10-4 M) nanofiber. To evaluate the contractile response, the nanofibers loaded with different doses of ML7 and nifedipine were applied onto the tissue strips, and in vitro organ bath experiments were performed. Full-thickness uterine samples were cleared of the serosa and surrounding tissues, and eight strips (3x10 mm) were prepared from each sample. The seven different nanofiber formulations were gently placed and sutured onto the strips, with one strip always kept as the time control. We recorded spontaneous, KCl-induced, and stimulated cumulative oxytocin-induced contractions from all samples in all groups. After completing all experiments, the viability of the strips was checked, and weight measurement was recorded. RESULTS: The administration of drug-loaded polymers resulted in a significant decrease in both the frequency and intensity of spontaneous and induced contractions in all groups (p<0.01). No significant difference was observed between the control group and the non-drug-loaded nanofiber group in post hoc analysis (p=0.704). In terms of amplitude and frequency of contractions, the most significant decrease was observed in group VII at cumulative oxytocin doses compared to the control and non-drug-loaded nanofiber groups (p<0.05). Moreover, group VI also showed a significant decrease in contraction intensity and frequency compared to the control and non-drug-loaded nanofiber groups (p<0.05). While the use of nifedipine and/or ML7-loaded nanofibers decreased both intensity and frequency of contraction, this attenuation was not significant compared to the control and empty polymer groups. However, a more significant inhibition was observed when ML7 was used with nifedipine at doses of 3x10-5 M and 10-4 M. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that human uterine contractions can be inhibited using calcium channel blocker (nifedipine) and myosin light chain kinase inhibitor (ML7) loaded nanofibers in uterine tissue strips. These results strongly suggested the potential for the development of locally effective and safe controlled drug release systems to prevent premature birth.