pH-Sensitive Degradable Oxalic Acid Crosslinked Hyperbranched Polyglycerol Hydrogel for Controlled Drug Release

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Apr 5;15(7):1795. doi: 10.3390/polym15071795.


pH-sensitive degradable hydrogels are smart materials that can cleave covalent bonds upon pH variation, leading to their degradation. Their development led to many applications for drug delivery, where drugs can be released in a pH-dependent manner. Crosslinking hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG), a biocompatible building block bearing high end-group functionality, using oxalic acid (OA), a diacid that can be synthesized from CO2 and form highly activated ester bonds, can generate this type of smart hydrogel. Aiming to understand the process of developing this novel material and its drug release for oral administration, its formation was studied by varying reactant stoichiometry, concentration and cure procedure and temperature; it was characterized regarding gel percent (%gel), swelling degree (%S), FTIR and thermal behavior; impregnated using ibuprofen, as a model drug, and a release study was carried out at pH 2 and 7. Hydrogel formation was evidenced by its insolubility, FTIR spectra and an increase in Td and Tg; a pre-cure step was shown to be crucial for its formation and an increase in the concentration of the reactants led to higher %gel and lower %S. The impregnation resulted in a matrix-encapsulated system; and the ibuprofen release was negligible at pH 2 but completed at pH 7 due to the hydrolysis of the matrix. A pH-sensitive degradable HPG-OA hydrogel was obtained and it can largely be beneficial in controlled drug release applications.

PMID:37050409 | DOI:10.3390/polym15071795


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