Poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) hydrogels containing hyper-branched poly(amidoamine) for sustained drug release

Hydrogels containing hyper-branched poly(amidoamine) (hb-PAMAM) microenvironments were suggested for the sustained release of ionizable drugs. For this purpose, a series of poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) (PHEA) hydrogels containing hb-PAMAM (PHEA-hb-PAMAM) were prepared by copolymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate with acryl-terminated hb-PAMAM. The hb-PAMAM was synthesized by the Michael addition reaction of triacryloylhexahydro-1,3,5-triazine (TT) and piperzaine (PZ). By using nonionic Tegafur and ionizable salicylic acid (SA) as model drugs, the release mechanisms of drugs from PHEA-hb-PAMAM hydrogels were investigated. Compared with the release kinetic of Tegafur, the release rate of SA from the hydrogels was evidently slowed down. Moreover, the release rate of SA can be modulated by the addition of salt. This can be attributed to the ionic interaction of SA with hb-PAMAM microenvironments. By analyzing the release kinetics of SA from the hydrogels, it was found that the release of SA followed non-Fickian diffusion.