Poly(L-lysine) Based Semi-interpenetrating Polymer Network as pH-responsive Hydrogel for Controlled Release of a Model Protein Drug Streptokinase

  • Published : 2001.09.01


With the aim of developing of pH-sensitive controlled drug release system, a poly(Llysine) (PLL) based cationic semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) has been synthesized. This cationic hydrogel was designed to swell at lower pH and de-swell at higher pH and therefore be applicable for achieving regulated drug release at a specific pH range. In addition to the pH sensitivity, this hydrogel was anticipated to interact with an ionic drug, providing another means to regulate the release rate of ionic drugs. This semi-IPN hydrogel was prepared using a free-radical polymerization method and by crosslinking of the polyethylene glycol (PEG)-methacrylate polymer through the PLL network. The two polymers were penetrated with each other via interpolymer complexation to yield the semi-IPN structures. The PLL hydrogel thus prepared showed dynamic swelling/de-swelling behavior in response to pH change, and such a behavior was influenced by both the concentrations of PLL and PEG-methacrylate. Drug release from this semi-IPN hydrogel was also investigated using a model protein drug, streptokinase. Streptokinase release was found to be dependent on its ionic interaction with the PLL backbones as well as on the swelling of the semi-IPN hydrogel. These results suggest that a PLL semi-IPN hydrogel could potentially be used as a drug delivery platform to modulate drug release by pH-sensitivity and ionic interaction.



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