467643 Water-in-Water Emulsion Based Synthesis of Hydrogel Nanospheres with Tunable Release Properties
Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) micro/nanospheres have several unique advantages as polymer based drug delivery systems (DDS) such as tunable size, large surface area to volume ratio, and colloidal stability. Emulsification is one of the widely used methods for facile synthesis of micro/nanospheres. Two-phase aqueous system based on polymer-polymer immiscibility is a novel approach for preparation of water-in-water (w/w) emulsions. This method is promising for the synthesis of PEG micro/nanospheres for biological systems, since the emulsion is aqueous and do not require organic solvents or surfactants. Here, we report the synthesis of nano-scale PEG hydrogel particles using w/w emulsions using phase separation of dextran and PEG prepolymer. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and scaning electron microscopy (SEM) results demonstrated that nano-scale hydrogel spheres could be obtained with this approach (Figure 1). We investigated the release kinetics of a model drug, pregabalin (PGB) from PEG nanospheres and demonstrated the influence of polymerization conditions on loading and release of the drug as well as the morphology and size distribution of PEG nanospheres. The experimental drug release data was fitted to a stretched exponential function which suggested high correlation with experimental results to predict half-time and drug release rates from the model equation. The biocompatibility of nanospheres on human dermal fibroblasts using cell-survival assay suggested that PEG nanospheres with altered concentrations are non-toxic, and can be considered for controlled drug/molecule delivery.
Fig. 1. a) Two-phase separation of dextran-PEG polymer b) Light microscope image of dextran-PEG w/w emulsion (scale bar: 40 µm) c) SEM image of dried PEG (scale bar: 1 µm)
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