Synthesis of mucoadhesive thiol-bearing microgels from 2-(acetylthio)ethylacrylate and 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate: novel drug delivery systems for chemotherapeutic agents to the bladder
Thiol-bearing microgels have been synthesised from copolymerisation of 2-(acetylthio)ethylacrylate and 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate, and subsequent deprotection using sodium thiomethoxide. The concentration of thiol groups on these microgels could be tailored by use of different molar ratios of the two monomers. These thiol-bearing microgels were shown to adhere to ex vivo porcine urinary bladder, which was correlated with their level of thiolation. By simply mixing solutions of thiol-bearing microgels and doxorubicin, high levels of drug loading into the microgels could be achieved. Thiol-bearing microgels controlled the release of doxorubicin in a time-dependent manner over several hours. These doxorubicin-loaded thiol-bearing microgels could have application in the treatment of early-stage bladder cancers. The method used represents a new ‘bottom-up’ approach for the synthesis of novel mucoadhesive microgels.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Highlighting materials research in the UK for biology and medicine