Controlled delivery of cytokine growth factors mediated by core–shell particles with poly(acrylamidomethylpropane sulphonate) shells
Core–shell particles have been prepared by surfactant-free emulsion polymerisations of butyl methacrylate in the presence of either linear or highly branched poly(acrylamidomethylpropane sulphonate)s (L-PAMPS or HB-PAMPS) with dithioate end groups: using a “shell-first” approach. In this method the water soluble PAMPS shells were anchored to the cores by polymerisation of BMA from the chain ends. The linear PAMPS produced non-crosslinked poly(AMPS-BMA) particles but the multiple chain ends of the highly branched PAMPS led to crosslinked particles. The particles were loaded with vascular endothelial growth factor or platelet derived growth factor, both of which are cytokines that are known to be important in the production of new blood vessels. The release of the growth factors was shown to be controlled by the architecture of the shell and we propose a mechanism that involves both ionic interaction of the PAMPS with the heparin-binding domains of the growth factors and size exclusion mediated diffusion.