Acetal-derivatized dextran: An acid-responsive biodegradable material for therapeutic applications

Eric M. Bachelder, Tristan T. Beaudette, Kyle E. Broaders, Jesse Dashe, Jean M.J. Fréchet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

387 Scopus citations


Dextran, a biocompatible, water-soluble polysaccharide, was modified at its hydroxyls with acetal moieties such that it became insoluble in water but freely soluble in common organic solvents enabling its use in the facile preparation of acid-sensitive microparticles. These particles degrade in a pH-dependent manner: FITC-dextran was released with a half-life at 37 °C of 10 h at pH 5.0 compared to a half-life of approximately 15 days at pH 7.4. Both hydrophobic and hydrophilic cargoes were successfully loaded into these particles using single and double emulsion techniques, respectively. When used in a model vaccine application, particles loaded with the protein ovalbumin (OVA) increased the presentation of OVA-derived peptides to CD8+ T-cells 16-fold relative to OVA alone. Additionally, this dextran derivative was found to be nontoxic in preliminary in vitro cytotoxicity assays. Owing to its ease of preparation, processability, pH-sensitivity, and biocompatibility, this type of modified dextran should find use in numerous drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10494-10495
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 13 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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