Development of biodegradable nanogels for lipase accelerated drug release of 5-aminolevulinic acid

Xiao Liu, Yuan Zhang, Peng Zhang*, Kang Ge, Ruzhi Zhang, Yixin Sun, Yang Sheng, Mark Bradley, Rong Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is an important approach for the treatment of some skin diseases and cancers. A major defect of this approach is that it is difficult for 5-ALA to accumulate around lesions in deeper regions of tissue, resulting in poor conversion to the active fluorophore and photodynamic efficiencies. Because of their targeting and controlled release abilities, nanogel carriers could solve this problem. In this paper, nanogels were prepared by using micro-emulsion polymerization with various biodegradable polyester crosslinkers (L-lactide and ε-caprolactone). The swelling and degradation properties and entrapment efficiency, drug loading and drug release ability of the nanogels were investigated. Nanogels co-cultured with skin cancer cells (A2058) allowed the efficiency of the PDT in vitro to be demonstrated. The results showed that the swelling rate of hydrogels reduced with increasing crosslinker levels, which caused a slow-down in the release of 5-ALA, but lipase accelerated degradation of nanogels increased 5-ALA concentrations in tumor cells and leading to higher PDT efficiency. It was proved by in vivo experiment indicating that the development of skin cancer tissues were efficiently inhibited by the 5-ALA loaded nanogels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113268
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Early online date17 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • 5-ALA
  • Biodegradable polyester crosslinker
  • Controlled drug release
  • Nanogels
  • Photodynamic therapy


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