Investigation of electrophoretic loading and enhanced mechanical properties of hydrogels for delivery of therapeutic proteins

Yeh, Chun-Liang (2010) Investigation of electrophoretic loading and enhanced mechanical properties of hydrogels for delivery of therapeutic proteins. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Hydrogels, which are three-dimensional crosslinked hydrophilic polymers, have been used and studied widely as vehicles for drug delivery due to their good biocompatibility. Traditional methods to load therapeutic proteins into hydrogels have some disadvantages. Biological activity of drugs or proteins can be compromised during polymerization process or the process of loading protein can be really timeconsuming. Therefore, different loading methods have been investigated. Based on the theory of electrophoresis, an electrochemical gradient can be used to transport proteins into hydrogels. Therefore, an electrophoretic method was used to load protein in this study. Chemically and radiation crosslinked polyacrylamide was used to set up the model to load protein electrophoretically into hydrogels. Different methods to prepare the polymers have been studied and have shown the effect of the crosslinker (bisacrylamide) concentration on the protein loading and release behaviour. The mechanism of protein release from the hydrogels was anomalous diffusion (i.e. the process was non-Fickian). The UV-Vis spectra of proteins before and after reduction show that the bioactivities of proteins after release from hydrogel were maintained. Due to the concern of cytotoxicity of residual monomer in polyacrylamide, poly(2-hydroxyethyl- methacrylate) (pHEMA) was used as the second tested material. In order to control the pore size, a polyethylene glycol (PEG) porogen was introduced to the pHEMA. The hydrogel disintegrated after immersion in water indicating that the swelling forces exceeded the strength of the material. In order to understand the cause of the disintegration, several different conditions of crosslinker concentration and preparation method were studied. However, the disintegration of the hydrogel still occurred after immersion in water principally due to osmotic forces. A hydrogel suitable for drug delivery needs to be biocompatible and also robust. Therefore, an approach to improving the mechanical properties of the porogen-containing pHEMA hydrogel by introduction of an inter-penetrating network (IPN) into the hydrogel system has been researched. A double network was formed by the introduction of further HEMA solution into the system by both electrophoresis and slow diffusion. Raman spectroscopy was used to observe the diffusion of HEMA into the hydrogel prior to further crosslinking by ã-irradiation. The protein loading and release behaviour from the hydrogel showing enhanced mechanical property was also studied. Biocompatibility is a very important factor for the biomedical application of hydrogels. Different hydrogels have been studied on both a three-dimensional HSE model and a HSE wound model for their biocompatibilities. They did not show any detrimental effect to the keratinocyte cells. From the results reported above, these hydrogels show good biocompatibility in both models. Due to the advantage of the hydrogels such as the ability to absorb and deliver protein or drugs, they have potential to be used as topical materials for wound healing or other biomedical applications.

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ID Code: 41771
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: George, Graeme, Dargaville, Timothy, Harris, Jonathan, & Wentrup-Byrne, Edeline
Keywords: biomaterials, diffusion, electrophoresis, hydrogel, loading, mechanical property, release, porogen, wound dressing
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 May 2011 02:54
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:02

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