Post-infiltration and subsequent photo-crosslinking strategy for layer-by-layer fabrication of stable dendrimers enabling repeated loading and release of hydrophobic molecules†
The layer-by-layer (LbL) technique has been intensively investigated as a straightforward method for the incorporation of drug molecules or other bioactive species, enabling retarded release in drug delivery devices, in bioactive interfaces, in tissue engineering, and in regenerative medicine. The preparation of crosslinked LbL multilayers with embedded drug reservoirs for delayed release remains a challenging task, however. In the present study we have developed a method for the simultaneous utilisation of covalent interlayer linkages and drug reservoirs that can hold model drug molecules. A strategy of post-infiltration of photoactive bifunctional small molecules followed by UV irradiation has been employed for crosslinking the LbL multilayers, incorporating poly(amido amine) (PAMAM) molecules, which serve as a drug reservoir. The covalent linkage significantly alters the release profile of the model drug from the multilayers, with retarded release of hydrophobic molecules from a solvent, and enabling the loaded multilayers to withstand rinsing with 75% ethanol, the most commonly used sterilization procedure.