Medicine relies on the use of pharmacologically active agents (drugs) to manage and treat disease. However, drugs are not inherently effective; the benefit of a drug is directly related to the manner by which it is administered or delivered. To improve the specificity and clinical efficacy of therapeutics, drug delivery systems have been developed to stabilize drugs in vivo, control their release, and localize their impact. As new therapeutics (e.g., biologics) are being developed, there is an accompanying need for improved chemistries and materials to deliver them to the target site in the body, at a therapeutic concentration, and for the desired length of time.
We have engineered a new class of supramolecular hydrogels based on non-covalent and reversible polymer-nanoparticle (PNP) interactions to deliver drugs locally in the body (Nature Communications 2015). Owing to the dynamic nature of the PNP cross-links the gels are shear-thinning and self-healing, allowing facile injection through a syringe or catheter and site-specific application. Further, the hierarchical structure allows for dual-stage release of multiple therapeutics. These materials are being developed in collaboration with Roche as ophthalmic drug delivery systems.
Appel, E.A.*; Tibbitt, M.W.*; Webber, M.J.; Mattix, B.A.; Veiseh, O.; Langer, R. "Self-assembled hydrogels utilizing polymer-nanoparticle interactions" Nature Communications, 2015, 6, 6295.
Shenoy, R.; Tibbitt, M.W.; Anseth, K.S.; Bowman, C.N. "Formation of core-shell particles by interfacial radical polymerization initiated by a glucose oxidase-mediated redox system" Chemistry of Materials, 2013, 25, 761-767.
Azagarsamy, M.A.; Alge, D.L.; Radhakrishnan, S.J.; Tibbitt, M.W.; Anseth, K.S. "Photocontrolled nanoparticles for on-demand release of proteins" Biomacromolecules, 2012, 13, 2219-2224.
Tibbitt, M.W.; Han, B.W.; Kloxin, A.M.; Anseth, K.S. "Synthesis and application of photodegradable microspheres for spatiotemporal control of protein delivery" Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 2012, 100, 1647-1654. (Award article)
Aimetti, A.A.; Tibbitt, M.W.; Anseth, K.S. "Human neutrophil elastase responsive delivery from poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels" Biomacromolecules, 2009, 10, 1484-1489.