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Liposome-Cross-Linked Hybrid Hydrogels for Glutathione-Triggered Delivery of Multiple Cargo Molecules

Liang, Yingkai, Kiick, Kristi L.
Biomacromolecules 2016 v.17 no.2 pp. 601-614
chemical degradation, chemical elements, crosslinking, cytochrome c, doxorubicin, gelation, glutathione, hydrogels, light scattering, nanoparticles, polyethylene glycol, rheology, thiols
Novel, liposome-cross-linked hybrid hydrogels cross-linked by the Michael-type addition of thiols with maleimides were prepared via the use of maleimide-functionalized liposome cross-linkers and thiolated polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers. Gelation of the materials was confirmed by oscillatory rheology experiments. These hybrid hydrogels are rendered degradable upon exposure to thiol-containing molecules such as glutathione (GSH), via the incorporation of selected thioether succinimide cross-links between the PEG polymers and liposome nanoparticles. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) characterization confirmed that intact liposomes were released upon network degradation. Owing to the hierarchical structure of the network, multiple cargo molecules relevant for chemotherapies, namely doxorubicin (DOX) and cytochrome c, were encapsulated and simultaneously released from the hybrid hydrogels, with differential release profiles that were driven by degradation-mediated release and Fickian diffusion, respectively. This work introduces a facile approach for the development of advanced, hybrid drug delivery vehicles that exhibit novel chemical degradation.