Versatile composite hydrogels for drug delivery and beyond

Yi Hua Chiang, Meng Ju Wu, Wei Chin Hsu, Teh Min Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hydrogels have extended applications across multiple fields. A novel hydrogel material is often evaluated for its properties and applications in either a wet or dry state, but not both. In this study, we investigated a protein-based, composite hydrogel system in both its wet and dry states. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was used as the hydrogel base. With the assistance of organosilanes, BSA solutions became hydrogels under facile reaction conditions. In the first part, the wet gel was preparedin situin a syringe; upon injecting through a needle, the gel retained its structure. The use of the nascent gel system as an injectable drug-delivery vehicle is of particular interest. We therefore developed a microplate platform that allows a “one-plate” study—i.e.gel preparation, payload loading and release—all being performed in a single plate. This one-plate method further enables a systematic study of various controlling parameters for drug release. For example, we can tune the release rate by simply adjusting the phosphate content in the hydrogel formulation. Besides, for low-releasing compounds, the release profile was also tunable while using the one-plate method. In the second part, we further demonstrate the versatility of our composite hydrogels. By simply varying the feed ratio of two organosilanes, (3-mercaptopropyl)methyldimethoxysilane and (3-mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane, and phosphate concentrations, dry gels exhibiting various absorption capacities towards water, organic solvents, and oil can be prepared. Further characterizations using SEM and29Si NMR spectroscopy revealed porous structures and hybrid siloxane bridges within the composite material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8830-8837
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number38
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2020


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