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Int J Pharm. 2012 Nov 1;437(1-2):11-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Supramolecular hydrogels as a universal scaffold for stepwise delivering Dox and Dox/cisplatin loaded block copolymer micelles.

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  • 1Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


A general and simple method was presented for preparing supramolecular hydrogels to deliver anticancer drugs. In this system, hydrophobic anticancer drug doxorubicin (Dox) was loaded into poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) amphiphilic block copolymer micelles by hydrophobic interaction. The drug loaded micelles were then mixed with α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) solution to generate the hydrogel. The α-CDs were threaded onto the PEG coronae of the micelles, and formed physical crosslinks of the molecular necklaces. Moreover, by mixing solutions of cisplatin complexed poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(acrylic acid) (PEG-b-PAA) micelles, Dox loaded PEG-b-PCL micelles and α-CDs together, a dual-drug loaded supramolecular hydrogel was generated. The gelation properties could be tuned by changing concentrations and polymerization degree of the polymers, and by adding PEG homopolymers or Pluronic copolymers as additives. Structures and properties of the drug loaded hydrogels were studied by wide-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) and rheology measurement, respectively. In vitro drug release in PBS with different pH values was quantified. The erosion of hydrogels produced discrete micelles, from which the free drugs were released. In vitro cytotoxicity studies showed that the Dox loaded hydrogel inhibited the growth of human bladder carcinoma EJ cells, and the dual-drug loaded hydrogel showed even higher cytotoxicity.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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