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Smart chitosan-based hydrogels for targeted drug delivery application

Lookup NU author(s): Nga Vo, Dr Lei HuangORCiD, Dr Henrique De Paula LemosORCiD, Emeritus Professor Andrew MellorORCiD, Dr Katarina Novakovic


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Hydrogels are three-dimensional networks that absorb water while maintaining their distinctive structures. Smart hydrogels contain functional groups that respond to environmental factors such as pH and temperature, variables relevant in physiologic tissues. As these materials are suitable for carrying cargo, including medication, drug release may be directed to a tissue with distinctive pH values, making smart hydrogels promising carriers for delivery in a more controlled way. In this work, smart pH-responsive hydrogels composed of genipin crosslinked with chitosan and poly ethylene glycol (PEG) were investigated for prospective pH-responsive drug delivery applications. Chitosan contains primary amino groups that are protonated at acidic pH conditions, enhancing gel pore size, swelling and water retention. Genipin was chosen as a crosslinker due to its reaction with molecules comprising amine groups and remarkably low toxicity, which is 5000-10000 times less cytotoxic than glutaraldehyde, the most commonly used crosslinker. PEG was contained within the polymer structure to form a semi-interpenetrating network favoured over fully interpenetrating networks for rapid response rates, tunable pore sizes and minimization of drug burst release effect.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vo N, Huang L, De Paula Lemos H, Mellor A, Novakovic K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 4th International Conference on Biomedical Polymers and Polymeric Biomaterials (ISBPPB 2018)

Year of Conference: 2018

Online publication date: 15/07/2018

Acceptance date: 08/03/2018

Publisher: International Society for Biomedical Polymers and Polymeric Biomaterials