Developed by scientists from Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology (HST) at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the system is biocompatible, efficient at drug release, and is also easy to tailor.
The structures will do way with carriers for the drug or generating toxic components-a problem encountered with hydrogel systems until now.
"This strategy could serve as the platform technology for developing drug-based delivery carriers that can release drugs such as anti-inflammatory agents on demand in response to inflammation, for example," said Jeffrey Karp, MD, instructor of medicine at the HST Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and a co-corresponding author on this manuscript.
"Converting known, clinically-practicing drugs into amphiphilic molecules which can undergo self-assembly is the key development in our present research; this may eliminate the need for an external carrier for delivering drugs" said Praveen Kumar Vemula, PhD, research fellow in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
"Enzyme triggered gel degradation has been our key strength, which played a major role in developing these delivery vehicles from drugs-based hydrogels" said another leading investigator Dr. George John, who is associate professor at City College of New York. Gregory Cruikshank.
The findings, which are now available on Science Direct, will be published in the Nov. 25 issue of Biomaterials.