Fast-gelling injectable blend of hyaluronan and methylcellulose for intrathecal, localized delivery to the injured spinal cord

Biomaterials. 2006 Apr;27(11):2370-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.11.015. Epub 2005 Dec 1.


Strategies for spinal cord injury repair are limited, in part, by poor drug delivery techniques. A novel drug delivery system (DDS) is being developed in our laboratory that can provide localized release of growth factors from an injectable gel. The gel must be fast-gelling, non-cell adhesive, degradable, and biocompatible as an injectable intrathecal DDS. A gel that meets these design criteria is a blend of hyaluronan and methylcellulose (HAMC). Unlike other injectable gels, HAMC is already at the gelation point prior to injection. It is injectable due to its shear-thinning property, and its gel strength increases with temperature. In vivo rat studies show that HAMC is biocompatible within the intrathecal space for 1 month, and may provide therapeutic benefit, in terms of behavior, as measured by the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor scale, and inflammation. These data suggest that HAMC is a promising gel for localized delivery of therapeutic agents to the injured spinal cord.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / administration & dosage
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Materials Testing
  • Methylcellulose / administration & dosage*
  • Mice
  • Microglia / pathology
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rheology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / therapy*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Gels
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Methylcellulose