University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2020


Systems composed of bioadhesive and thermoresponsive polymers can combine in situ gelation with bio/mucoadhesion, enhancing retention of topically applied drugs. The effect of bioadhesive sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose cellulose (HPMC) on the properties of thermoresponsive Pluronic® F127 (F127) was explored, including micellization and the mucoadhesion. A computational analysis between these polymers and their molecular interactions were also studied, rationalising the design of improved binary polymeric systems for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. The morphological characterization of polymeric systems was conducted by SEM. DSC analysis was used to investigate the crystallization and micellization enthalpy of F127 and the mixed systems. Micelle size measurements and TEM micrographs allowed for investigation into the interference of cellulose derivatives on F127 micellization. Both cellulose derivatives reduced the critical micellar concentration and enthalpy of micellization of F127, altering hydrodynamic diameters of the aggregates. Mucoadhesion performance was useful to select the best systems for mucosal application. The systems composed of 17.5% (w/w) F127 and 3% (w/w) HPMC or 1% (w/w) NaCMC are promising as topical drug delivery systems, mainly on mucosal surfaces. They were biocompatible when tested against Artemia salina, and also able to release a model of hydrophilic drug in a controlled manner.

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