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On-Demand and Tunable Dual Wavelength Release of Antibodies Using Light-Responsive Hydrogels

: Levalley, P.J.; Sutherland, B.P.; Jaje, J.; Gibbs, S.; Jones, R.M.; Gala, R.P.; Kloxin, C.J.; Kiick, K.L.; Kloxin, A.M.


ACS applied bio materials 3 (2020), Nr.10, S.6944-6958
ISSN: 2576-6422
Fraunhofer CMB ()

There has been an increased interest in the use of protein therapeutics, especially antibodies, for the treatment of a variety of diseases because of their high specificity to tissues and biological pathways of interest. However, the use of antibodies can be hindered by physical aggregation, degradation, and diffusion when injected in vivo, leading to the need for antibody-releasing depots for the controlled and localized delivery within the tissues of interest. Here, we investigated photolabile hydrogel chemistries for creating on-demand and tunable antibody release profiles. Innovative, scalable synthetic procedures were established and applied for fabricating hydrogels with nitrobenzyl (NB) and coumarin (CMR) photolabile crosslinks that responded to clinically relevant doses of long-wavelength UV and short-wavelength visible light. This synthetic procedure includes a route to make a CMR linker possessing two functional handles at the same ring position with water-stable bonds. The photocleavage properties of NB and CMR crosslinked hydrogels were characterized, as well as their potential for translational studies by degradation through the pig skin, a good human skin mimic. The mechanism of hydrogel degradation, bulk versus surface eroding, was determined to be dependent on the wavelength of light utilized and the molar absorptivity of the different photolabile linkers, providing a facile means for altering protein release upon hydrogel degradation. Further, the encapsulation and on-demand release of a model monoclonal antibody was demonstrated, highlighting the ability to control antibody release from these hydrogels through the application of light, while retaining its bioactivity. In particular, the newly designed CMR hydrogels undergo surface erosion-based protein release using visible light, which is more commonly used clinically. Overall, this work establishes scalable syntheses and relevant pairings of formulation–irradiation conditions for designing on-demand and light-responsive material systems that provide controlled, tunable release of bioactive proteins toward addressing barriers to preclinical translation of light-based materials and ultimately improving therapeutic regimens.