Injectable On-Demand Pulsatile Drug Delivery Hydrogels Using Alternating Magnetic Field-Triggered Polymer Glass Transitions Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Remote-controlled pulsatile or staged release has significant potential in a wide range of therapeutic treatments. However, most current approaches are hindered by the low resolution between the on- and off-states of drug release and the need for surgical implantation of larger controlled-release devices. Herein, we describe a method that addresses these limitations by combining injectable hydrogels, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) that heat when exposed to an alternating magnetic field (AMF), and polymeric nanoparticles with a glass transition temperature (Tg) just above physiological temperature. Miniemulsion polymerization was used to fabricate poly(methyl methacrylate-co-butyl methacrylate) (p(MMA-co-BMA)) nanoparticles loaded with a model hydrophobic drug and tuned to have a Tg value just above physiological temperature (∼43 °C). Co-encapsulation of these drug-loaded nanoparticles with SPIONs inside a carbohydrate-based injectable hydrogel matrix (formed by rapid hydrazone cross-linking chemistry) enables injection and immobilization of the nanoparticles at the target site. Temperature cycling facilitated a 2.5:1 to 6:1 on/off rhodamine release ratio when the nanocomposites were switched between 37 and 45 °C; release was similarly enhanced by exposing the nanocomposite hydrogel to an AMF to drive heating, with enhanced release upon pulsing observed even 1 week after injection. Coupled with the apparent cytocompatibility of all of the nanocomposite components, these injectable nanocomposite hydrogels are promising as minimally invasive but remotely actuated release delivery vehicles capable of complex release kinetics with high on-off resolution.


  • Campbell, Scott
  • Preciado Rivera, Nahieli
  • Said, Somiraa
  • Lam, Angus
  • Weir, Lauren
  • Gour, Jared
  • Smeets, Niels MB
  • Hoare, Todd Ryan

publication date

  • October 25, 2023