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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(6), 3394-3408; doi:10.3390/ijms12063394

Characterization and Degradation Behavior of Agar–Carbomer Based Hydrogels for Drug Delivery Applications: Solute Effect

1 Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, Via Mancinelli 7, 20131 Milano, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, via La Masa 19, 20156 Milano, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2011 / Revised: 18 May 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability of Materials in Biomedical Applications 2011)
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In this study hydrogels synthesized from agarose and carbomer 974P macromers were selected for their potential application in spinal cord injury (SCI) repair strategies following their ability to carry cells and drugs. Indeed, in drug delivery applications, one of the most important issues to be addressed concerns hydrogel ability to provide a finely controlled delivery of loaded drugs, together with a coherent degradation kinetic. Nevertheless, solute effects on drug delivery system are often neglected in the large body of literature, focusing only on the characterization of unloaded matrices. For this reason, in this work, hydrogels were loaded with a chromophoric salt able to mimic, in terms of steric hindrance, many steroids commonly used in SCI repair, and its effects were investigated both from a structural and a rheological point of view, considering the pH-sensitivity of the material. Additionally, degradation chemistry was assessed by means of infrared bond response (FT-IR) and mass loss.
Keywords: degradation; drug effect; FT-IR; hydrogels; rheology degradation; drug effect; FT-IR; hydrogels; rheology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Rossi, F.; Santoro, M.; Casalini, T.; Veglianese, P.; Masi, M.; Perale, G. Characterization and Degradation Behavior of Agar–Carbomer Based Hydrogels for Drug Delivery Applications: Solute Effect. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 3394-3408.

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