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Macromol Biosci. 2005 Aug 12;5(8):728-33.

Controlling drug release from imprinted hydrogels by modifying the characteristics of the imprinted cavities.

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  • 1Menicon Co., Ltd. 5-1-10 Takamoridai, Kasugai, Aichi 487-0032, Japan.


The aim of this study was to analyse the influence of the template/functional monomer proportion on the achievement of molecularly imprinted hydrogels with cavities with a high enough affinity for the drug to sustain drug release. Imprinted hydrogels were prepared from N,N-dimethylacrylamide and tris(trimethylsiloxy)sililpropyl methacrylate (DMAA and TRIS; main components), methacrylic acid (MAA; functional monomer), ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA; cross-linker), and timolol (template drug). Photo-polymerization of the monomer solutions was carried out in poly(propylene) molds (0.3 mm thickness) to obtain contact lens-like devices. Non-imprinted control hydrogels were also prepared in the same way but without the addition of timolol. The imprinted hydrogels showed a higher affinity for timolol and a slower release rate than the non-imprinted hydrogels. The release rate decreased by increasing the MAA/timolol ratio in the gel recipe. Hydrogels prepared with 400 x 10(-3) M MAA, 600 x 10(-3) M EGDMA, and a timolol/MAA mole ratio of 1:16-1:32 had drug diffusion coefficients two orders of magnitude below those of non-imprinted hydrogels. The results obtained clearly indicate that the timolol release rate is critically affected by the conditions under which the hydrogels were synthesized. These effects are discussed on the basis of the influence of drug proportion on the conformation of the imprinted cavities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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