Drug development and industrial pharmacy

Thiolated polymers: evaluation of their potential as dermoadhesive excipients.

PMID 27585266


The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare four different thiolated polymers regarding their dermoadhesive potential. Therefore, three hydrophilic polymers (poly(acrylic acid), Carbopol 971 and carboxymethylcellulose) and a lipophilic polymer (silicone oil) were chosen to generate thiolated polymers followed by characterization. The total work of adhesion (TWA) and the maximum detachment force (MDF) of formulations containing modified and unmodified polymers were investigated on skin obtained from pig ears using a tensile sandwich technique. The synthesis of thiolated polymers provided 564 µmol, 1079 µmol, 482 µmol and 217 µmol thiol groups per gram poly(acrylic acid), Carbopol 971, carboxymethylcellulose and silicone oil, respectively. Hydrogels containing poly(acrylic acid)-cysteine, Carbopol 971-cysteine, and carboxymethylcellulose-cysteamine exhibited a 6-fold, 25-fold and 9-fold prolonged adhesion on porcine skin than the hydrogel formulations prepared from the corresponding unmodified polymers, respectively. Furthermore, thiolation of silicone oil with thioglycolic acid led to a 5-fold improvement in adhesion compared to the unmodified silicone oil. A comparison between the four thiolated polymer formulations showed a clear correlation between the amount of coupled thiol groups and the TWA. According to these results thiomers might also be useful excipients to provide a prolonged dermal resistance time of various formulations.