A prodrug gelation strategy was developed for the sustained and dual stimuli-response release of doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX·HCl), a commonly used anticancer drug. For this purpose, the chemical conjugation of DOX·HCl onto thiolated hyaluronic acid (HA) was carried out by an acid liable hydrazone linkage and verified by 1H NMR analyses. When exposed to the air, such a polysaccharide conjugate showed unique self-gelation ability in aqueous solution. The gelation time and extent depended mainly on the content of thiol groups on thiolated HA. The resultant hydrogel exhibited a dominant elastic response and a thixotropic property. In particular, it could release sustainably conjugated DOX·HCl in dual pH- and reduction-responsive modes. The cumulative drug release was found to be significantly accelerated under the conditions mimicking the intracellular environments of cancer cells. The in vitro cytotoxicity assays for the human nasopharyngeal carcinoma CNE2 cells treated with various release media confirmed the effectiveness of this conjugate hydrogel for cancer cell inhibition.
- Cancer cell inhibition
- Chemical conjugation
- Doxorubicin hydrochloride
- Gelation Stimuli-responsive release
- Thiolated hyaluronic acid