We present the integration of amphiphilic block copolymer micelles as nanometer-sized vehicles for hydrophobic drugs within layer-by-layer (LbL) films using alternating hydrogen bond interactions as the driving force for assembly for the first time, thus enabling the incorporation of drugs and pH-sensitive release. The film was constructed based on the hydrogen banding between poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) as an H-bond donor and biodegradable poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(E-caprolactone) (PEO-b-KL) micelles as the H-bond acceptor when assembled under acidic conditions. By taking advantage of the weak interactions of the hydrogen-bonded film on hydrophobic surfaces, it is possible to generate flexible free-standing films of these materials. A free-standing micelle LbL film of (PEG-b-PCL/PAA)60 with a thickness of 3.1 μm was isolated, allowing further characterization of the bulk film properties, including morphology and phase transitions, using transmission electron microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Because of the sensitive nature of the hydrogen bonding employed to build the multilayers, the film can be rapidly deconstructed to release micelles upon exposure to physiological conditions. However, we could also successfully control the rate of film deconstruction by cross-linking carboxylic acid groups in PAA through thermally induced anhydride linkages, which retard the drug release to the surrounding medium to enable sustained release over multiple days. To demonstrate efficacy in delivering active therapeutics, in vitro Kirby-Bauer assays against Staphylococcus aureus were used to illustrate that the drug-loaded micelle LbL film can release significant amounts of an active antibacterial drug, triclosan, to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Because the micellar encapsulation of hydrophobic therapeutics does not require specific chemical interactions, we believe this noncovalent approach provides a new route to integrating active small, uncharged, and hydrophobic therapeutics into LbL thin films for biological and biomedical coatings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)