A new biodegradable crosslinked polyethylene oxide sulfide (PEOS) hydrogel for controlled drug release

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We developed a polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based biodegradable hydrogel through disulfide crosslinking of polyethylene oxide sulfide (PEOS). The crosslinking rate was highly dependent on temperature, and incubation at about 40–50 °C was required for efficient crosslinking. The crosslinked PEOS hydrogel showed glutathione-dependent dissolution and corresponding controlled release of a model drug—fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled dextran—because the disulfide bond, the main linker, is selectively degraded in response to the high concentration of glutathione. The temperature-sensitive crosslinking and the hydrogel formation have the potential for use as an injectable biogel precursor, which was confirmed by in situ gel formation in mice.

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