Hydrogel Composites Containing Sacrificial Collapsed Hollow Particles as Dual Action pH-Responsive Biomaterials

Kyriaki Pafiti, Zhengxing Cui, Daman Adlam, Judith Hoyland, Anthony Freemont, Brian Saunders

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this study hydrogel composites are investigated that contain sacrificial pH-responsive collapsed hollow particles (CHPs) entrapped within a poly(acrylamide) (PAAm) network. The CHPs were prepared using a scalable (mainly) water-based method and had a bowl-like morphology that was comparable to that of red blood cells. The CHPs were constructed from poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid), which is a pH-responsive copolymer. The PAAm/CHP composite morphology was probed with optical microscopy, CLSM and SEM. These data showed the CHPs were dispersed throughout the PAAm network. Inclusion of the CHPs within the gel composites increased the modulus in a tunable manner. The CHPs fragmented at pH values greater than the pKa of the particles, and this process decreased the gel modulus to values similar to that of the parent PAAm hydrogel. CHPs containing a model drug were used to demonstrate pH-triggered release from PAAm/CHP and the release kinetics obeyed Fickian diffusion. The composite gels had low cytotoxicity as evidenced by Live/Dead and MTT assays. The hydrogel composites showed dual action pH-triggered softening with simultaneous drug release which occurred without a volume increase. The hydrogel composites may have potential application as enteric gels or for intra-articular drug delivery.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2448-2458
    Number of pages11
    Issue number7
    Early online date7 Jun 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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