Guar-Based Injectable Thermoresponsive Hydrogel as a Scaffold for Bone Cell Growth and Controlled Drug Delivery

Authors: Anil Parameswaran-ThankamCharlette M. ParnellFumiya WatanabeAmbar B. RanguMagarBijay P. ChhetriPeter K. SzwedoAlexandru S. Biris, and Anindya Ghosh

Publication: ACS Omega20183 (11), pp 15158–15167. DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.8b01765, Publication Date (Web): November 9, 2018


In this study, an injectable thermoresponsive hydroxypropyl guar-graft-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (HPG-g-PNVCL) copolymer was synthesized by graft polymerization. The reaction parameters such as temperature, time, monomer, and initiator concentrations were varied. In addition, the HPG-g-PNVCL copolymer was modified with nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) by in situ covalent cross-linking using divinyl sulfone (DVS) cross-linker to obtain HPG-g-PNVCL/n-HA/DVS composite material. Grafted copolymer and composite materials were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR), and differential scanning calorimetry. The morphology of the grafted copolymer (HPG-g-PNVCL) and the composite (HPG-g-PNVCL/n-HA/DVS) was examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which showed interconnected porous honeycomb-like structures. Using Ultraviolet−visible spectroscopy, low critical solution temperature for HPG-g-PNVCL was observed at 34 °C, which is close to the rheology gel point at 33.5 °C. The thermoreversibility of HPG-g-PNVCL was proved by rheological analysis. The HPG-g-PNVCL hydrogel was employed for slow release of the drug molecule. Ciprofloxacin, a commonly known antibiotic, was used for sustainable release from the HPG-g-PNVCL hydrogel as a function of time at 37 °C because of viscous nature and thermogelation of the copolymer. In vitro cytotoxicity study reveals that the HPG-g-PNVCL thermogelling polymer works as a biocompatible scaffold for osteoblastic cell growth. Additionally, in vitro biomineralization study of HPG-g-PNVCL/n-HA/DVS was conducted using a simulated body fluid, and apatite-like structure formation was observed by SEM.

Posted in: Biris, Parnell, Publications, Watanabe

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