Novel hydrogels for rhythmic pulsatile drug delivery

Siddharthya K. Mujumdar, Amardeep S. Bhalla, Ronald A. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We are investigating an autonomous glucose-driven hydrogel/enzymebased device prototype for rhythmic, pulsed delivery of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). The device employs a pH-sensitive hydrogel membrane in conjunction with the enzyme glucose oxidase. This system delivers GnRH in rhythmic pulses when exposed to a constant level of glucose. These pulses result from autonomous pH oscillations inside the device that are created by an unstable nonlinear feedback between hydrogel permeability to glucose and production of acid by glucose oxidase. Previous versions of this prototype utilized p(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-methylacrylic acid) p(NIPA-co-MAA) hydrogels, with 10 mol% MAA incorporated. With this membrane, which undergoes a volume transition (VT) near pH 5, pH oscillations centered around pH 5 are observed. This range is too low to sustain oscillations in physiologically buffered media. To shift the operating pH of oscillations closer to physiologic pH, we have sought ways to increase the pH of the volume transition. In this study we show that increasing the side chain length of the α-alkylacrylic acid (RAA) comonomer enhances the overall hydrophobicity of the copolymer, and shifts the VT pH closer to physiological pH values. We also demonstrate the ability of such membranes to affect an alkaline shift in the range of oscillations in the prototype oscillator device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-344
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecular Symposia
StatePublished - 2007


  • Hydrogels
  • Hydrophobic
  • N-isopropylacrylamide
  • Pulsatile
  • pH-sensitive


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