The protein collagen is the major component of connective tissue and it is involved in many biological functions. Its degradation is at the basis of different pathological processes. The up-regulated expression of matrix metalloproteinases and the down-regulated expression of their inhibitors are the causes for such degradation. The aim of this work was to evaluate the possibility to fabricate collagen based containers for drug encapsulation and release by cellular demand by the action of matrix metalloproteinases. In present work collagen type I based microcapsules were fabricated by means of the layer-by-layer assembly of oppositely charged collagen and poly (stirene sulfonate) onto colloidal particles, followed by removal of the cores to obtain hollow microcapsules. The process of shell growth on planar supports was monitored by quartz crystal microbalance. X-ray reflectivity measurements were carried out at the solid/water interface to study the interaction of matrix metalloproteinase 1 with LbL films of collagen. The morphology of hollow capsules was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, and compared to that of capsules exposed to the matrix metalloproteinase 1. Finally the matrix metalloproteinase 1 mediated permeability of capsules variation was studied by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy. The results demonstrated the possibility to fabricate a drug delivery system where the release of the drug is dependent on the biochemistry of the pathological state.
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