Biodegradable pH-responsive hydrogels for controlled dual-drug release

Liang Xu, Linzi Qiu, Yang Sheng, Yixin Sun, Linhong Deng, Xinqing Li, Mark Bradley, Rong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dual-drug loaded pH-responsive hydrogels were prepared as a delivery system carrying, as exemplars, both anti-cancer and anti-bacterial agents for pH controlled drug release. The hydrogels were composed of poly-(L-lactide)-co-polyethyleneglycol-co-poly(L-lactide) dimethacrylates (with various molecular weights of L-lactide oligomers) as a macromolecular crosslinker and copolymerized with acrylic acid and N-isopropylacrylamide. The biodegradability, biocompatibility and mechanical properties of the hydrogels were characterized with the hydrogels being nontoxic to cells, while showing a reversible 480% reduction in volume at pH 1.2 compared to pH 7.4. Drug release profiles showed differential release of tetracycline over doxorubicin at pH 1.2, with both drugs being released equally at pH 7.4. Biodegradability was tunable by altering the crosslinking density and pH, with the total degradation of the best gels observed within 2 weeks at pH 7.4.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-517
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B: Materials for biology and medicine
Issue number3
Early online date18 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Dec 2017

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