Pharmaceutical Research vol:20 issue:2 pages:303-307
PURPOSE: To characterize methacrylated inulin hydrogels with respect to their release properties. METHODS: Proteins (bovine serum albumin or lysozyme) were used as model drugs and were loaded during or after hydrogel formation. Parameters such as the drug loading method, the molecular weight of the proteins, the initial drug loading concentration, the hydrogel feed composition, degree of substitution, and size of the hydrogel were investigated by determining the release of the model proteins from the hydrogels in a phosphate buffer solution. The biodegradable properties were investigated by studying the release of bovine serum albumin in a solution of inulinase. RESULTS: In vitro protein release from methacrylated hydrogels was influenced by factors such as the drug loading procedure and the molecular weight and loading concentration of the proteins. The feed composition and degree of substitution of inulin seem to be crucial in controlling both the extent and the rate of release. Protein release was clearly enhanced in the presence of inulinase, indicating the biodegradable properties of methacrylated inulin hydrogels. CONCLUSIONS: Several hydrogels show interesting properties with respect to the development of a colon-specific drug delivery system.