Poly(acrylic acid) and alkyl modified poly(acrylic acid) nanoparticles were formed by the reverse microemulsion technique. Scanning electron microspectroscopy, zeta potential measurements and fluorescence spectroscopy were used for their characterization. It was observed that they are in the range 80–100 nm and their surface charge is pH dependent. The particles were assessed for their ability to extract drugs such as amitriptyline and bupivacaine from bulk fluid for their potential application as scavengers for overdosed drugs. In normal saline (0.9% NaCl) unmodified poly(acrylic acid) nanoparticles (per gram) extracted 81 mg amitriptyline and 62 mg bupivacaine in 5 minutes, whereas for the alkyl modified poly(acrylic acid) nanoparticles, extractions were 68 mg and 51 mg amitriptyline and bupivacaine respectively per gram of nanoparticles used.
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