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22 December 2006 The use of colloidal microgels for the controlled delivery of proteins and peptides
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Colloidal microgels may be used for the absorption and controlled release of confirmationally sensitive molecules such as proteins and peptides. These monodisperse microgels are easily prepared in a single pot reaction from e.g. Nisopropylacrylamide, butyl acrylate and methacrylic acid in the presence of a cross-linking agent and a suitable free radical initiator. The resultant materials display dramatic conformational changes in aqueous dispersion in response to changes in e.g. environmental pH. Colloidal microgels are capable of absorbing a range of different proteins and peptides at one pH, affording them protection by changing the conformation of the microgel following a pH change. A further change in environmental pH will allow the microgel to adopt a more extended confirmation and therefore allow the release of the encapsulated material. In the case of e.g. insulin this would offer the possibility of an oral delivery route. At the pH of stomach the microgel adopts a compact conformation, "protecting" the protein from denaturation. As the pH increases passing into the GI tract, the microgel changes its conformation to a more expanded form and thereby allows the protein to be released. Colloidal microgels offer an opportunity for the controlled release of conformationally sensitive protein and peptide molecules via an oral route.
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Victoria J. Cornelius, Martin J. Snowden, and John C. Mitchell "The use of colloidal microgels for the controlled delivery of proteins and peptides", Proc. SPIE 6413, Smart Materials IV, 64130Y (22 December 2006);

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