Synthesis of Polysaccharide-based Biomaterials for Drug Delivery


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Virginia Tech


Synthetic strategies for polysaccharide-protein conjugates, pH-responsive hydrogels, and amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) polymers were developed. Conjugating a polysaccharide to a protein drug via a covalent bond may improve its medical properties including solubility, stability, immunogenicity, circulation time, and targeting ability. Regioselectivity of conjugation is still challenging. We developed a strategy for regioselective conjugation of amino acid esters to polysaccharides, by employing 6-Br-polysaccharides in SN2 substitution reactions with amino acid esters. This work provides a good starting point for the regioselective conjugation of polysaccharides to proteins. Polysaccharides can also serve as hydrogel drug carriers. Most hydrogels employed in drug delivery work by incorporating the drug physically. We synthesized sustained and pH-responsive hydrogels using oxidized hydroxypropyl cellulose (Ox-HPC)/carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCS) crosslinked by imine bond. Phenylalanine as a model amine-containing drug was chemically bonded to the Ox-HPC hydrogel component and was observed to release faster at the pH of a tumor microenvironment. These hydrogels show promise as targeting cancer drug carriers. ASDs are polymeric systems to disperse poorly soluble drugs amorphously and enhance permeation from the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) to the bloodstream. We synthesized potentially zwitterionic cellulose derivatives by reductive amination of Ox-HPC with ω-aminoalkanoic acids and obtained products with the degree of substitution (cation and anion) up to 1.6, which is difficult to attain using previous methods. The products showed manipulated amphiphilicity and excellent thermostability, exhibiting potential application in ASDs. We anticipate that these strategies will benefit future polysaccharide chemistry research and permit synthesis of a broad variety of more functional biomedical materials.



Polysaccharide, Chemoselectivity, Polysaccharide-protein conjugates, Hydrogels, Zwitterionic polymers