International journal of pharmaceutics

pH-Responsive poly(itaconic acid-co-N-vinylpyrrolidone) hydrogels with reduced ionic strength loading solutions offer improved oral delivery potential for high isoelectric point-exhibiting therapeutic proteins.

PMID 24853463


pH-Responsive hydrogels comprised of itaconic acid copolymerized with N-vinylpyrrolidone (P(IA-co-NVP)) were synthesized and tested as carriers for the oral delivery of high isoelectric point (pI) exhibiting therapeutic proteins. Swelling studies show that P(IA-co-NVP) hydrogels exhibit significantly greater and faster pH-responsive swelling than previously studied methacrylic acid-based hydrogels, achieving up to 68% greater equilibrium swelling and 10.4 times greater swelling in time-limited experiments. Using salmon calcitonin as a model high pI protein therapeutic, we show that P(IA-co-NVP) hydrogels exhibit significantly greater delivery potential than methacrylic acid-based hydrogels. Additionally, we show that utilizing a lower ionic strength solution during drug loading significantly improves drug delivery potential for high pI therapeutics. By using a 1.5mM PBS buffer rather than the standard 150 mM PBS buffer during loading, up to 83 times as much calcitonin can be delivered in neutral conditions, with up to a 9.6-fold improvement in percent release. Using P(IA-co-NVP) hydrogel microparticles and a low ionic strength loading solution, up to 48 μg calcitonin/mg hydrogel can be delivered in small intestinal conditions. Based on expected absorption in the small intestine, this is sufficient delivery potential for achieving therapeutic dosage via a single, regularly-sized pill taken daily.