Special Issue "Design, Development, and Application of Hydrogels for Cancer Treatment"

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Pharmacy and Formulation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 2696

Special Issue Editors

Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, First Surgical Clinic, University of Padova, 35128 Padova, Italy
Interests: gastrointestinal cancer; biomarker; liquid biopsy; microRNA; 3D cell culture; 3D tumor model; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; chemoradiotherapy; response to therapy
Veneto Institute of Oncology IOV - IRCCS via Gattamelata, 64 - 35128 Padova, Italy
Interests: cancer; extracellular matrix; hydrogel; tissue engineering; 3d models; drug resistance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A plethora of chemotherapeutics currently exist for the treatment of several human cancers. Although the essential first line treatment solution is efficient in some cancers, chemotherapeutics still cause tremendous side effects and induce resistance in different cancers. In recent years, engineering of nanomaterials has been constantly improving to overcome the toxicity of anticancer drugs. Researchers have developed complex in vitro models which better mimic the cancer microenvironment using different engineered nanomaterials. Hydrogels represent an innovative class of biomaterials with several applications to study complex mechanisms related to cancer behavior. The role of hydrogels in cancer therapy is emerging in recent years, and huge efforts have been devoted to developing and producing even more innovative hydrogel formulations, mimicking as closely as possible the pathophysiological conditions occurring in native cancer before or after treatment with chemotherapeutics. Moreover, hydrogels are often used as drug delivery systems but are still characterized by low biocompatibility, poor therapeutic potential, and high immunogenicity. 

This Special Issue aims to collect contributions reporting on innovative approaches to design, produce, and characterize hydrogels as new potential therapeutics for cancer treatment. The issue will also be open to studies exploiting hydrogels as innovative models to deepen our understanding of cancer-related pathological and molecular mechanisms.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following: biomaterials engineering, drug discovery, cancer treatment, polymer science, nanomaterials, and materials chemistry.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Edoardo D'Angelo
Dr. Daniele Boso
Guest Editors

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  • cancer
  • biomaterials
  • hydrogels
  • anticancer drugs
  • 3D models
  • cancer-related pathological and molecular mechanisms

Published Papers (1 paper)

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40 pages, 50935 KiB  
Poly (N-Vinylcaprolactam-Grafted-Sodium Alginate) Based Injectable pH/Thermo Responsive In Situ Forming Depot Hydrogels for Prolonged Controlled Anticancer Drug Delivery; In Vitro, In Vivo Characterization and Toxicity Evaluation
Pharmaceutics 2022, 14(5), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14051050 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2208
This study was aimed to develop novel in situ forming gels based on N-vinylcaprolactam, sodium alginate, and N,N-methylenebisacrylamide. The in situ Poly (NVRCL-g-NaAlg) gels were developed using the cold and free radical polymerization method. The structure formation, thermal stability, and porous nature of [...] Read more.
This study was aimed to develop novel in situ forming gels based on N-vinylcaprolactam, sodium alginate, and N,N-methylenebisacrylamide. The in situ Poly (NVRCL-g-NaAlg) gels were developed using the cold and free radical polymerization method. The structure formation, thermal stability, and porous nature of gels was confirmed by FTIR, NMR, DSC, TGA, and SEM. The tunable gelation temperature was evaluated by tube titling and rheological analysis. Optical transmittance showed that all formulations demonstrated phase transition around 33 °C. The swelling and release profile showed that gels offered maximum swelling and controlled 5-FU release at 25 °C and pH (7.4), owing to a relaxed state. Porosity and mesh size showed an effect on swelling and drug release. The in vitro degradation profile demonstrated a controlled degradation rate. An MTT assay confirmed that formulations are safe tested against Vero cells. In vitro cytotoxicity showed that 5-FU loaded gels have controlled cytotoxic potential against HeLa and MCF-7 cells (IC50 = 39.91 µg/mL and 46.82 µg/mL) compared to free 5-FU (IC50 = 50.52 µg/mL and 53.58 µg/mL). Histopathological study demonstrated no harmful effects of gels on major organs. The in vivo bioavailability in rabbits showed a controlled release in gel form (Cmax, 1433.59 ± 45.09 ng/mL) compared to a free drug (Cmax, 2263.31 ± 13.36 ng/mL) after the subcutaneous injection. Full article
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