Nanocomposite degradable hydrogels: Demonstration of remote controlled degradation and drug release

A. M. Hawkins, N. S. Satarkar, J. Z. Hilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: To demonstrate remote controlled degradation of degradable nanocomposite hydrogels by application of an alternating magnetic field (AMF). Further, it was desired to study the AMF effect on the drug release properties of these systems. Methods: Degradable nanocomposite hydrogels were synthesized by incorporating iron oxide nanoparticles into a degradable hydrogel that exhibited temperature dependent degradation. Heating, degradation, and drug release studies were conducted by application of an AMF to determine if modulation of degradation and drug release could be attained. Results: Hydrogels were successfully prepared, shown to have temperature dependent degradation, and shown to heat when exposed to the AMF. The degradation rate of the exposed samples was demonstrated to be higher than control samples, thus modulation of degradation was obtained. The release of a model drug from the system was modulated by exposure to the AMF. Conclusions: This is the first demonstration of remote controlled degradation using an AMF stimulus. Here, the proof of the concept has been presented, and there is great potential to enhance this effect through various methods. The ability to remotely control degradation of an implanted device opens a new area of improved medical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based in part on work supported by the National Science Foundation through an NSF IGERT traineeship and CTS-0609117 (NSF NIRT).


  • Degradable polymers
  • Drug release
  • Hydrogels
  • Nanocomposite
  • Remote control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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