Preparation of gelatin hydrogels incorporating low-molecular-weight heparin for anti-fibrotic therapy
The objective of this study is to design biodegradable hydrogels for the controlled release of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and evaluate the biological activity. Gelatin was cationized by chemically introducing ethylene diamine into the carboxyl groups in different conditions to obtain cationized gelatins. The cationized gelatin was mixed with the LMWH in aqueous solution to form the complex. Gelatin, together with the complex of LMWH and cationized gelatin, was dehydrothermally cross-linked for different time periods to prepare the gelatin hydrogel-incorporating complex. The hydrogel-incorporating complex was neither degraded in phosphate-buffered saline solution (PBS) at 37 °C nor did it release the LMWH complex. When placed in PBS containing collagenase, the hydrogel was enzymatically degraded to release the LMWH complex. The time profile of hydrogel degradation and the LMWH release depended on the condition of hydrogel cross-linking. The longer the cross-linking time period, the slower the hydrogel degradation and the subsequent LMWH release. The half-life period of LMWH release was in good correspondence with that of hydrogel degradation. It is possible that the LMWH was released as the result of hydrogel degradation. When applied to the mouse model of abdominal membrane fibrosis, the hydrogel system of LMWH release showed a promising anti-fibrotic effect.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 8, Issue 2, February 2012, Pages 646–652