Fully acid-degradable biocompatible polyacetal microparticles for drug delivery

Sergey E. Paramonov, Eric M. Bachelder, Tristan T. Beaudette, Stephany M. Standley, Cameron C. Lee, Jesse Dashe, Jean M.J. Fréchet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


A library of polyurethanes and polyureas with different hydrophobicities containing the same acid-degradable dimethyl ketal moiety embedded in the polymer main chain have been prepared. All polymers were synthesized using an AA-BB type step-growth polymerization by reaction of bis(p-nitrophenyl carbamate/carbonate) or diisocyanate monomers with an acid-degradable, ketal-containing diamine. These polymers were designed to hydrolyze at different rates in mildly acidic conditions as a function of their hydrophobicity to afford small molecules only with no polymeric byproduct. The library of polymers was screened for the formation of microparticles using a double emulsion technique. The microparticles that were obtained degraded significantly faster at acidic pH (5.0) than at physiological pH (7.4) with degradation kinetics related to the hydrophobicity of the starting polymer. In vitro studies demonstrated the ability of the FITC-BSA loaded microparticles to be phagocytosed by macrophages resulting in a 10-fold increase in the protein uptake compared to a free protein control: in addition, the microparticles were found to be nontoxic at the concentrations tested of up to 1 mg/mL. The ease of preparation of the polymers coupled with the ability to tune their hydrophobicity and the high acid sensitivity of the microparticles identify this new class of materials as promising candidates for the delivery of bioactive materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-919
Number of pages9
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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