Polymer-conjugated albumin and fibrinogen composite hydrogels as cell scaffolds designed for affinity-based drug delivery
Serum albumin was conjugated to poly-(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and cross-linked to form mono-PEGylated albumin hydrogels. These hydrogels were used as a basis for drug carrying tissue engineering scaffold materials, based on the natural affinity of various drugs and compounds for the tethered albumin in the polymer network. The results of the drug release validation experiments showed that the release kinetics of the drugs from the mono-PEGylated albumin hydrogels were controlled by the molecular weight (MW) of PEG conjugated to the albumin protein, the drug MW and its inherent affinity for albumin. Composite hydrogels containing both mono-PEGylated albumin and PEGylated fibrinogen were used specifically for three-dimensional (3D) cell culture scaffolds, with inherent bioactivity, proteolytic biodegradability and controlled drug release properties. The specific characteristics of these complex hydrogels were governed by the ratio between the concentrations of each protein, the addition of free PEG diacrylate (PEG DA) molecules to the hydrogel matrix and the MW of the PEG conjugated to each protein. Comprehensive characterization of the drug release and degradation properties, as well as 3D cell culture experiments using these composite materials, demonstrated the effectiveness of this combined approach in creating a tissue engineering scaffold material with controlled drug release features.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 163–170