Agarose hydrogels are three-dimensional hydrophilic polymeric frameworks characterised by high water content, viscoelastic properties, and excellent ability as cell and drug delivery systems. However, their hydrophilicity as gel systems makes loading of hydrophobic drugs difficult and often ineffective. The incorporation of amphiphilic molecules (e.g. cyclodextrins) into hydrogels as hosts able to form inclusion complexes with hydrophobic drugs could be a possible solution. However, if not properly confined, the host compounds can get out of the network resulting in uncontrolled release. Therefore, in this work, β-cyclodextrins-based host-guest supramolecular hydrogel systems were synthesised, with β-cyclodextrins (β-CD) covalently bound to the polymeric network, preventing leakage of the host molecules. Hydrogels were prepared at two different β-CD-functionalized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/agarose ratios, and characterised chemically and physically. Then ibuprofen, a drug often used as a gold standard in studies involving β-CD both in its hydrophilic and hydrophobic forms, was selected to investigate the release behavior of the synthesised hydrogels and the influence of β-CD on the release. The presence of β-CD linked to the polymeric 3D network ensured a higher and prolonged release profile for the hydrophobic drug and also seemed to have some influence on the hydrophilic one.
Cumulative release trend of IBU-Na from AG/PVA1:1 HGs (blue rhombuses), AG/PVA-CD1:1 HGs (red rhombuses), AG/PVA1:6 HGs (blue squares), AG/PVA-CD1:6 HGs (red squares); b) comparison between the slopes of IBU-Na release from HGs against the square root time.
Filippo Pinelli, Maddalena Ponti, Sara Delleani, Fabio Pizzetti, Valeria Vanoli, Francesco Briatico Vangosa, Franca Castiglione, Havard Haugen, Liebert P. Nogueira, Arianna Rossetti, Filippo Rossi, Alessandro Sacchetti, β-Cyclodextrin functionalized agarose-based hydrogels for multiple controlled drug delivery of ibuprofen. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 2023, 126284.