Thermoresponsive nanogels with film-forming ability†
Thermoresponsive nanogels (NGs) with film-forming ability could have great potential in delivery system platforms with controlled and targeted release of drugs or proteins, such as in topical treatment. This platform offers the opportunity of combining both the high loading capacity of an NG dispersion and the delivery capability from a film, which could be previously obtained or directly formed onto the surface where the release is required. Therefore, this article investigates the synthesis of NGs based on poly(N-vinylcaprolactam), a thermoresponsive polymer, and poly(butyl acrylate), which promotes particle coalescence and cohesivity (i.e., film forming). The synthesized NGs have low cytotoxicity and are able to form flexible and smooth films, conserving the thermoresponsivity of the particulated system. The obtained films loaded with a model protein show delivery profiles responsive to temperature changes.