Photo-crosslinked anhydride-modified polyester and –ethers for pH-sensitive drug release

Sanja Asikainen, Jukka Seppälä*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


Photo-crosslinkable polymers have a great potential for the delivery of sensitive drugs. They allow preparation of drug releasing devices by photo-crosslinking, thus avoiding high processing temperatures. In this study, the hydrolysis behavior and drug release of three different photo-crosslinkable poly(ether anhydride)s and one poly(ester anhydride) were investigated. Three-arm poly(ethylene glycol) or polycaprolactone was reacted with succinic anhydride to obtain carboxylated macromers, and further functionalized with methacrylic anhydride to form methacrylated marcromers with anhydride linkages. The synthetized macromers were used to prepare photo-crosslinked matrices with different hydrolytic degradation times for active agent release purposes. The hydrolysis was clearly pH-sensitive: polymer networks degraded slowly in acidic conditions, and degradation rate increased as the pH shifted towards basic conditions. Drug release was studied with two water-soluble model drugs lidocaine (234 mol/g) and vitamin B12 (1355 g/mol). Vitamin B12 was released mainly due to polymer network degradation, whereas smaller molecule lidocaine was released also through diffusion and swelling of polymer network. Only a small amount of vitamin B12 was released in acidic conditions (pH 1.3 and pH 2.1). These polymers have potential in colon targeted drug delivery as the polymer could protect sensitive drugs from acidic conditions in the stomach, and the drug would be released as the conditions change closer to neutral pH in the intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Drug delivery
  • Lidocaine
  • Photo-crosslinking
  • Poly(ester anhydride)
  • Poly(ether anhydride)
  • Vitamin B


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