Preparation of a novel injectable in situ-gelling nanoparticle with applications in controlled protein release and cancer cell entrapment
Temperature sensitive injectable hydrogels have been used as drug/protein carriers for a variety of pharmaceutical applications. Oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (OEGMA) monomers with varying ethylene oxide chain lengths have been used for the synthesis of in situ forming hydrogel. In this study, a new series of thermally induced gelling hydrogel nanoparticles (PMOA hydrogel nanoparticles) was developed by copolymerization with di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (MEO2MA), poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (300 g mol−1, OEGMA300), and acrylic acid (AAc). The effects of acrylic acid content on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the nanoparticle-based hydrogels were investigated. Due to its high electrostatic properties, addition of AAc increases LCST as well as gelation temperature. Further, using Cy5-labelled bovine serum albumin and erythropoietin (Epo) as model drugs, studies have shown that the thermogelling hydrogels have the ability to tune the release rate of these proteins in vitro. Finally, the ability of Epo releasing hydrogels to recruit prostate cancer cells was assessed in vivo. Overall, our results support that this new series of thermally induced gelling systems can be used as protein control releasing vehicles and cancer cell traps.