Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy
G Deepa,1 Arun Kumar T Thulasidasan,2 Ruby John Anto,2 J Jisha Pillai,1 GS Vinod Kumar1
1Chemical Biology, 2Division of Cancer Research, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Objective: To investigate cross-linked hydrogels prepared via inverse emulsion polymerization to entrap poorly aqueous soluble drugs. Polyethylene glycol cross-linked acrylic polymers were synthesized and the loading and release of curcumin, a model hydrophobic drug, was investigated.
Methods: Physicochemical characteristics of hydrogels were studied with 13C nuclear magnetic resonance, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and swelling. Polymerization of the acrylic acid with cross-linked polyethylene glycol diacrylate was characterized with 13C nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.
Results: The in vitro release rate of curcumin showed that there was a sustained release from the hydrogel with increased cross-linking; the release rate depended on the pH of the releasing medium. Intracellular and cytotoxicity studies were carried out in human cervical cancer cell lines.
Conclusion: The results suggest cross-linked acrylic polymers can be used as efficient vectors for pH-sensitive, controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs.
Keywords: curcumin, cross-linked polyethylene glycol, polyacrylic acid, nanogel, cross-linking combinations, HeLa
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