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Biomaterials. 2007 Feb;28(4):717-24. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Biomimetic hydrogels for enhanced loading and extended release of ocular therapeutics.

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  • 1Biomimetic & Biohybrid Materials, Biomedical Devices, and Drug Delivery Laboratories, Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA.


We have applied the principles of biomimesis by incorporating a natural receptor-based rational design strategy in the synthesis of novel recognitive soft contact lenses. We have demonstrated the potential of biomimetic carriers to load significant amounts of ocular medication such as H(1)-antihistamines, as well as to release a therapeutic dosage of drug in vitro in a controlled fashion for 5 days, with an even further extension in the presence of protein. Gels of multiple complexation points with varying functionalities outperformed gels formed with less diverse functional monomers and showed superior loading with a six-fold difference over control gels and a three-fold difference over less biomimetic gels. Moreover, mechanical and optical properties of these hydrogels agreed with conventional lenses, and increased loading was reflected in a reduced propagation of polymer chains. This approach can be extended to a wider biological spectrum in the design of novel, controlled and modulated delivery devices to alleviate ocular disorders and provide an alternative to topical therapy.

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