alexa Silk fibroin poly(vinyl alcohol) photocrosslinked hydrogels for delivery of macromolecular drugs.
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Journal of Developing Drugs

Author(s): Kundu J, PooleWarren LA, Martens P, Kundu SC

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Abstract Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymer networks widely used in biomedical applications as drug delivery and tissue engineered scaffolds to effectively repair or replace damaged tissue. In this paper we demonstrate a newly synthesized cytocompatible and drug releasing photo-crosslinked hydrogel based on poly(vinyl alcohol) methacrylate and silk fibroin which possesses tailorable structural and biological properties. The initial silk fibroin content was 0\%, 10\%, 20\%, 30\%, 40\% and 50\% with respect to the weight of poly(vinyl alcohol) methacrylate. The prepared hydrogels were characterized with respect to morphology, crystallinity, stability, swelling, mass loss and cytotoxicity. FITC-dextrans of different molecular weights were chosen as model drugs molecules for release studies from the hydrogels. The hydrogels containing different silk fibroin percentages showed differences in pore size and distribution. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that amorphous silk fibroin in poly(vinyl alcohol) methacrylate is crystallized to β-sheet secondary structure upon gelation. The sol fraction increased with increasing fibroin concentration in the co-polymer gel (from 18\% to 45\%), although the hydrogel extracts were non-cytotoxic. Similarly, the addition of silk fibroin increased water uptake by the gels (from 7\% to 21\%). FITC-dextran release from the hydrogels was dependent on the silk fibroin content and the molecular weight of encapsulated molecules. The study outlines a newer type of photo-crosslinked interpenetrating polymer network hydrogel that possess immense potential in drug delivery applications. Copyright © 2012 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in Acta Biomater and referenced in Journal of Developing Drugs

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