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Biomaterials. 2006 Aug;27(22):4132-40. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

Self-assembled supramolecular hydrogels formed by biodegradable PEO-PHB-PEO triblock copolymers and alpha-cyclodextrin for controlled drug delivery.

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  • 1Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), National University of Singapore, 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602, Singapore.


A materials design of a new supramolecular hydrogel self-assembled between alpha-cyclodextrin and a biodegradable poly(ethylene oxide)-poly[(r)-3-hydroxybutyrate]-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PHB-PEO) triblock copolymer was demonstrated. The cooperation effect of complexation of PEO segments with alpha-cyclodextrin and the hydrophobic interaction between PHB blocks resulted in the formation of the supramolecular hydrogel with a strong macromolecular network. The in vitro release kinetics studies of fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled dextran (dextran-FITC) model drug from the hydrogel showed that the hydrogel was suitable for relatively long-term sustained controlled release of macromolecular drugs, which many simple triblock copolymer hydrogel systems could not achieve. The hydrogel was found to be thixotropic and reversible, and can be applied as a promising injectable drug delivery system.

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