Aptamer-functionalized superporous hydrogels for sequestration and release of growth factors regulated via molecular recognition.

PMID 24954732


While the discovery of highly potent biologics has led to the development of promising therapies for various human diseases, biologics can cause severe toxicity if delivered inappropriately. Thus, great efforts have been made to synthesize polymeric systems for safe and efficient delivery of biologics. However, the application of polymeric delivery systems is often limited by problems such as harsh reaction conditions, low drug sequestration efficiency, and difficult drug release regulation. This study was aimed at developing a superporous material system with a hydrogel and an aptamer to overcome these challenges. The results have shown that the superporous hydrogel is capable of instantaneously and fully sequestering a large amount of growth factors, owing to the presence of superporous architectures and aptamers. Moreover, the sequestering and loading procedure does not involve any harsh conditions. The release kinetics of growth factors can be molecularly modulated by either changing the binding affinity of the aptamer or by using a triggering effector. Therefore, this study presents a promising superporous material for the delivery of highly potent biologics such as growth factors for clinical applications.