Magneto-responsive pore-filling hydrogel nanohybrid membranes for controlled release of proteins

Magneto-responsive pore-filling hydrogel nanohybrid membranes for controlled release of proteins

Elleithypng2

Membranes as a selective barrier serve a wide range of applications as illustrated in various projects in our research group. However, the possibility of changing the membrane selectivity during application offers further flexibility. Thus, this project focuses on stimuli-responsive membranes where spatial and temporal control over the membrane selectivity could be achieved. Among a variety of stimuli-responsive membranes, magneto-responsive membranes are of special interest for biomedical applications. One possible application is the on-demand remotely controlled release of therapeutic proteins by diffusion through the membrane that acts as a gate.

Former work in our research group included membrane pore-filling with thermo-responsive hydrogel [1], coupling magnetic nanoparticles with grafted thermo-responsive polymer chains [2], membrane pore-filling with thermo-responsive hydrogel that contains magnetic nanoparticles [3], and mixing hydrogel particles with magnetic nanoparticles during the membrane fabrication [4]. Building on this knowledge and expertise, this project aims at further optimization of the membrane performance towards protein release. This optimization is in terms of selectivity to small protein molecules, magnitude of response and response time. Base membranes containing magnetic nanoparticles are fabricated and then filled with a thermo-responsive hydrogel with tailored sieving properties. When subjected to an external alternating magnetic field, the nanoparticles will generate heat through hysteresis and Neel relaxation losses. Consequently, the thermo-responsive hydrogel changes its barrier property resulting in a significant increase of the membrane permeability. Performance will be further enhanced by using membrane with higher porosity, thinner thickness and higher hydrogel content.

References

  1. N. Adrus, M. Ulbricht, J. Mater. Chem. 2012, 22, 3088
  2. A. M. Gajda, M. Ulbricht, J. Mater. Chem. B 2014, 2, 1317
  3. X. Lin, R. Huang, M. Ulbricht, J. Mater. Chem. B 2016, 4, 867
  4. X. Lin, B. N. Quoc, M. Ulbricht, ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 2016, 8, 29001

Funding

This project is funded by the DAAD through the GERLS program.

Contact:
Mohamed Elleithy