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Degradable redox-responsive disulfide-based nanogel drug carriers via dithiol oxidation polymerization

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Abstract

Stimuli-responsive nanogels are important drug and gene carriers that mediate the controlled release of therapeutic molecules. Herein, we report the synthesis of fully degradable disulfide cross-linked nanogel drug carriers formed by oxidative radical polymerization of 2,2′-(ethylenedioxy)diethanethiol (EDDET) as a monomer with different cross-linkers, including pentaerythritol tetramercaptoacetate (PETMA). Because the poly(EDDET) backbone repeat structure and cross-linking junctions are composed entirely of disulfide bonds, these nanogels specifically degrade to small molecule dithiols intracellularly in response to the reducing agent glutathione present inside of cells. Cross-linked nanogels were synthesized using controlled microfluidic mixing in the presence of a nonionic Pluronic surfactant PLU-127 to increase the nanogel stability. Adjusting the monomer to cross-linker ratio from 5 : 1 to 100 : 1 (mol/mol) tuned the cross-linking density, resulting in swelling ratios from 1.65 to >3. Increasing the amount of stabilizing Pluronic surfactant resulted in a decrease of nanogel diameter, as expected due to increased surface area of the resulting nanogels. The monomer to cross-linker ratio in the feed had no effect on the formed nanogel diameter, providing a way to control cross-linking density with constant nanogel size but tunable drug release kinetics. Nanogels exhibited an entrapment efficiency of up to 75% for loading of Rhodamine B dye. In vitro studies showed low cytotoxicity, quick uptake, and fast degradation kinetics. Due to the ease of synthesis, rapid gelation times, and tunable functionality, these non-toxic and fully degradable nanogels offer potential for use in a variety of drug delivery applications.

Graphical abstract: Degradable redox-responsive disulfide-based nanogel drug carriers via dithiol oxidation polymerization

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2018, accepted on 09 Nov 2018 and first published on 12 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8BM01120F
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
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    Degradable redox-responsive disulfide-based nanogel drug carriers via dithiol oxidation polymerization

    S. A. Elkassih, P. Kos, H. Xiong and D. J. Siegwart, Biomater. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8BM01120F

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