Temporally tunable, enzymatically responsive delivery of proangiogenic peptides from poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels.
ABSTRACT: Proangiogenic drugs hold great potential to promote reperfusion of ischemic tissues and in tissue engineering applications, but efficacy is limited by poor targeting and short half-lives. Methods to control release duration or provide enzymatically responsive drug delivery have independently improved drug efficacy. However, no material has been developed to temporally control the rate of enzymatically responsive drug release. To address this void, hydrogels are developed to provide sustained, tunable release of Qk, a proangiogenic peptide mimic of vascular endothelial growth factor, via tissue-specific enzymatic activity. After confirmation that sustained delivery of Qk is necessary for proangiogenic effects, a variety of previously identified matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-degradable linkers are used to tether Qk to hydrogels. Of these, three (IPES?LRAG, GPQG?IWGQ, and VPLS?LYSG) show MMP-responsive peptide release. These linkers provide tunable Qk release kinetics, with rates ranging from 1.64 to 19.9 × 10(-3) h(-1) in vitro and 4.82 to 8.94 × 10(-3) h(-1) in vivo. While Qk is confirmed to be bioactive as released, hydrogels releasing Qk fail to induce significant vascularization in vivo after one week, likely due to the use of nonenzymatically degradable hydrogels. While Qk is the focus of this study, the approach could easily be adapted to control the delivery of a variety of therapeutic molecules.
Project description:Clinical application of injectable, thermoresponsive hydrogels is hindered by lack of degradability and controlled drug release. To overcome these challenges, a family of thermoresponsive, ABC triblock polymer-based hydrogels has been engineered to degrade and release drug cargo through either oxidative or hydrolytic/enzymatic mechanisms dictated by the "A" block composition. Three ABC triblock copolymers are synthesized with varying "A" blocks, including oxidation-sensitive poly(propylene sulfide), slow hydrolytically/enzymatically degradable poly(?-caprolactone), and fast hydrolytically/enzymatically degradable poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide), forming the respective formulations PPS135-b-PDMA152-b-PNIPAAM225 (PDN), PCL85-b-PDMA150-b-PNIPAAM150 (CDN), and PLGA60-b-PDMA148-b-PNIPAAM152 (LGDN). For all three polymers, hydrophilic poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) and thermally responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) comprise the "B" and "C" blocks, respectively. These copolymers form micelles in aqueous solutions at ambient temperature that can be preloaded with small molecule drugs. These solutions quickly transition into hydrogels upon heating to 37 °C, forming a supra-assembly of physically crosslinked, drug-loaded micelles. PDN hydrogels are selectively degraded under oxidative conditions while CDN and LGDN hydrogels are inert to oxidation but show differential rates of hydrolytic/enzymatic decomposition. All three hydrogels are cytocompatible in vitro and in vivo, and drug-loaded hydrogels demonstrate differential release kinetics in vivo corresponding with their specific degradation mechanism. These collective data highlight the potential cell and drug delivery use of this tunable class of ABC triblock polymer thermogels.
Project description:Therapeutic angiogenesis holds great potential for a myriad of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches. While a number of peptides have been identified with pro-angiogenic behaviors, therapeutic efficacy is limited by poor tissue localization and persistence. Therefore, poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels providing sustained, enzymatically-responsive peptide release were exploited for peptide delivery. Two pro-angiogenic peptide drugs, SPARC113 and SPARC118, from the Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine, were incorporated into hydrogels as crosslinking peptides flanked by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) degradable substrates. In vitro testing confirmed peptide drug bioactivity requires sustained delivery. Furthermore, peptides retain bioactivity with residual MMP substrates present after hydrogel release. Incorporation into hydrogels achieved enzymatically-responsive bulk degradation, with peptide release in close agreement with hydrogel mass loss and released peptides retaining bioactivity. Interestingly, SPARC113 and SPARC118-releasing hydrogels had significantly different degradation time constants in vitro (1.16 and 8.77×10(-2) h(-1), respectively), despite identical MMP degradable substrates. However, upon subcutaneous implantation, both SPARC113 and SPARC118 hydrogels exhibited similar degradation constants of ~1.45×10(-2) h(-1), and resulted in significant ~1.65-fold increases in angiogenesis in vivo compared to controls. Thus, these hydrogels represent a promising pro-angiogenic approach for applications such as tissue engineering and ischemic tissue disorders.
Project description:Despite the recent expansion of peptide drugs, delivery remains a challenge due to poor localization and rapid clearance. Therefore, a hydrogel-based platform technology was developed to control and sustain peptide drug release via matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. Specifically, hydrogels were composed of poly(ethylene glycol) and peptide drugs flanked by MMP substrates and terminal cysteine residues as crosslinkers. First, peptide drug bioactivity was investigated in expected released forms (e.g., with MMP substrate residues) in vitro prior to incorporation into hydrogels. Three peptides (Qk (from Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), SPARC113, and SPARC118 (from Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine)) retained bioactivity and were used as hydrogel crosslinkers in full MMP degradable forms. Upon treatment with MMP2, hydrogels containing Qk, SPARC113, and SPARC118 degraded in 6.7, 6, and 1 days, and released 5, 8, and, 19% of peptide, respectively. Further investigation revealed peptide drug size controlled hydrogel swelling and degradation rate, while hydrophobicity impacted peptide release. Additionally, Qk, SPARC113, and SPARC118 releasing hydrogels increased endothelial cell tube formation 3.1, 1.7, and 2.8-fold, respectively. While pro-angiogenic peptides were the focus of this study, the design parameters detailed allow for adaptation of hydrogels to control peptide release for a variety of therapeutic applications.
Project description:Despite great therapeutic potential and development of a repertoire of delivery approaches addressing degradation and cellular uptake limitations, small interfering RNA (siRNA) exhibits poorly controlled tissue-specific localization. To overcome this hurdle, siRNA was complexed to nanoparticles (siRNA/NP) embedded within poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactic acid)-dimethacrylate (PEG-PLA-DM) hydrogels with the hypothesis that hydrolytic degradation of ester bonds within the PLA crosslinks would provide tunable, sustained siRNA/NP release. Hydrogels formed from macromers with increasing PLA repeats (e.g., 0 or non-degradable to 5 PLA repeats flanking PEG cores) and mixtures of nondegradable PEG-DM (0 PLA) and degradable PEG-PLA5-DM macromers were investigated. Hydrogels formed only with fully degradable crosslinks degraded rapidly over 6-14?days with limited control over siRNA/NP release. However, hydrogels formed with mixtures of nondegradable and 20%, 50%, and 100% degradable macromers resulted in siRNA/NP release over 3 to 28?days. Subsequently, gene silencing mediated by released siRNA/NP from 20% and 50% degradable hydrogels was sustained for ~28?days. Furthermore, in vivo imaging showed that hydrogel degradation controlled siRNA/NP localization, with sustained siRNA/NP release from 0%, 20% and 50% degradable hydrogels over 28, 21, and 15?days. A model, which accounts for hydrogel degradation rate and siRNA/NP diffusion, was developed to enable rational design of siRNA/NP delivery depots. Overall, this study shows that siRNA/NP release can be sustained via encapsulation in hydrogels with tunable degradation kinetics and modeled for a priori design of delivery depots.
Project description:The successful transport of drug- and cell-based therapeutics to diseased sites represents a major barrier in the development of clinical therapies. Targeted delivery can be mediated through degradable biomaterial vehicles that utilize disease biomarkers to trigger payload release. Here, we report a modular chemical framework for imparting hydrogels with precise degradative responsiveness by using multiple environmental cues to trigger reactions that operate user-programmable Boolean logic. By specifying the molecular architecture and connectivity of orthogonal stimuli-labile moieties within material cross-linkers, we show selective control over gel dissolution and therapeutic delivery. To illustrate the versatility of this methodology, we synthesized 17 distinct stimuli-responsive materials that collectively yielded all possible YES/OR/AND logic outputs from input combinations involving enzyme, reductant and light. Using these hydrogels we demonstrate the first sequential and environmentally stimulated release of multiple cell lines in well-defined combinations from a material. We expect these platforms will find utility in several diverse fields including drug delivery, diagnostics and regenerative medicine.
Project description:Degradable cationic polymers are desirable for in vivo nucleic acid delivery because they offer significantly decreased toxicity over non-degradable counterparts. Peptide linkers provide chemical stability and high specificity for particular endopeptidases but have not been extensively studied for nucleic acid delivery applications. In this work, enzymatically degradable peptide-HPMA copolymers were synthesized by RAFT polymerization of HPMA with methacrylamido-terminated peptide macromonomers, resulting in polymers with low polydispersity and near quantitative incorporation of peptides. Three peptide-HPMA copolymers were evaluated: (i) pHCathK(10), containing peptides composed of the linker phe-lys-phe-leu (FKFL), a substrate of the endosomal/lysosomal endopeptidase cathepsin B, connected to oligo-(L)-lysine for nucleic acid binding, (ii) pHCath(D)K(10), containing the FKFL linker with oligo-(D)-lysine, and (iii) pH(D)Cath(D)K(10), containing all (D) amino acids. Cathepsin B degraded copolymers pHCathK(10) and pHCath(D)K(10) within 1 h while no degradation of pH(D)Cath(D)K(10) was observed. Polyplexes formed with pHCathK(10) copolymers show DNA release by 4 h of treatment with cathepsin B; comparatively, polyplexes formed with pHCath(D)K(10) and pH(D)Cath(D)K(10) show no DNA release within 8 h. Transfection efficiency in HeLa and NIH/3T3 cells were comparable between the copolymers but pHCathK(10) was less toxic. This work demonstrates the successful application of peptide linkers for degradable cationic polymers and DNA release.
Project description:Oxanorbornadiene dicarboxylate (OND) reagents are potent Michael acceptors, the adducts of which undergo fragmentation by retro-Diels-Alder reaction at rates that vary with the substitution pattern on the OND moiety. Rapid conjugate addition between thiol-terminated tetravalent PEG and multivalent ONDs yielded self-supporting hydrogels within 1 min at physiological temperature and pH. Erosion of representative hydrogel formulations occurred with predictable and pH-independent rates on the order of minutes to weeks. These materials could be made non-degradable by epoxidation of the OND linkers without slowing gelation. Hydrogels prepared with OND linkers of equal valence had comparable physical properties, as determined by equilibrium swelling behavior, indicating similar internal network structure. Diffusion and release of entrained cargo varied with both the rate of degradation of PEG-OND hydrogels and the hydrodynamic radius of the entrained species. These results highlight the utility of OND linkers in the preparation of degradable network materials with potential applications in sustained release.
Project description:Stimuli-responsive nanogels are important drug and gene carriers that mediate the controlled release of therapeutic molecules. Herein, we report the synthesis of fully degradable disulfide cross-linked nanogel drug carriers formed by oxidative radical polymerization of 2,2'-(ethylenedioxy)diethanethiol (EDDET) as a monomer with different cross-linkers, including pentaerythritol tetramercaptoacetate (PETMA). Because the poly(EDDET) backbone repeat structure and cross-linking junctions are composed entirely of disulfide bonds, these nanogels specifically degrade to small molecule dithiols intracellularly in response to the reducing agent glutathione present inside of cells. Cross-linked nanogels were synthesized using controlled microfluidic mixing in the presence of a nonionic Pluronic surfactant PLU-127 to increase the nanogel stability. Adjusting the monomer to cross-linker ratio from 5?:?1 to 100?:?1 (mol/mol) tuned the cross-linking density, resulting in swelling ratios from 1.65 to >3. Increasing the amount of stabilizing Pluronic surfactant resulted in a decrease of nanogel diameter, as expected due to increased surface area of the resulting nanogels. The monomer to cross-linker ratio in the feed had no effect on the formed nanogel diameter, providing a way to control cross-linking density with constant nanogel size but tunable drug release kinetics. Nanogels exhibited an entrapment efficiency of up to 75% for loading of Rhodamine B dye. In vitro studies showed low cytotoxicity, quick uptake, and fast degradation kinetics. Due to the ease of synthesis, rapid gelation times, and tunable functionality, these non-toxic and fully degradable nanogels offer potential for use in a variety of drug delivery applications.
Project description:Novel, liposome-cross-linked hybrid hydrogels cross-linked by the Michael-type addition of thiols with maleimides were prepared via the use of maleimide-functionalized liposome cross-linkers and thiolated polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers. Gelation of the materials was confirmed by oscillatory rheology experiments. These hybrid hydrogels are rendered degradable upon exposure to thiol-containing molecules such as glutathione (GSH), via the incorporation of selected thioether succinimide cross-links between the PEG polymers and liposome nanoparticles. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) characterization confirmed that intact liposomes were released upon network degradation. Owing to the hierarchical structure of the network, multiple cargo molecules relevant for chemotherapies, namely doxorubicin (DOX) and cytochrome c, were encapsulated and simultaneously released from the hybrid hydrogels, with differential release profiles that were driven by degradation-mediated release and Fickian diffusion, respectively. This work introduces a facile approach for the development of advanced, hybrid drug delivery vehicles that exhibit novel chemical degradation.
Project description:Degradable hydrogels have been extensively used in biomedical applications such as drug delivery, and recent interest has grown in hydrogels that degrade in recognition of a cellular response. This contribution describes a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogel platform with human neutrophil elastase (HNE) sensitive peptide cross-links formed using thiol-ene photopolymerization rendering the gel degradable at sites of inflammation. Further, protein therapeutics can be physically entrapped within the network and selectively released upon exposure to HNE. HNE-responsive hydrogels exhibited surface erosion where the degradation kinetics was influenced by changes in peptide k(cat), concentration of HNE, and concentration of peptide within the gel. Using this platform, we were able to achieve controlled, zero-order release of bovine serum albumin (BSA) in the presence of HNE, and release was arrested in the absence of HNE. To further exploit the advantages of surface eroding delivery systems, a smaller protein (carbonic anhydrase) was delivered at the same rate as BSA and only dependent on gel formulation and environmental conditions. Also, protein release was predicted from a 3-layered hydrogel device using mass loss data. Lastly, the bioactivity of lysozyme was maintained above 90% following the exposure to thiol-ene photopolymerization conditions.