Background of the study: The propose of the present work was to develop chemically cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol-co-poly(methacrylic acid) hydrogel (PVA-MAA hydrogel) for pH responsive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU).
Methods: PVA based hydrogels were prepared by free radical copolymerization. PVA has been cross-linked chemically with monomer (methacrylic acid) in aqueous medium, cross-linking agent was ethylene glycol di-methacrylate (EGDMA) and benzoyl peroxide was added as reaction initiator. 5-FU was loaded as model drug. FTIR, XRD, TGA and DSC were performed for characterization of copolymer. Surface morphology was studied by SEM. pH sensitive properties were evaluated by swelling dynamics and equilibrium swelling ratio at low and higher pH.
Results: FTIR, XRD, TGA and DSC studies confirmed the formation of new copolymer. Formulations with higher MAA contents showed maximum swelling at 7.4 pH. High drug loading and higher drug release has been observed at pH 7.4.
Conclusions: The current study concludes that a stable copolymeric network of PVA was developed with MAA. The prepared hydrogels were highly pH responsive. This polymeric network could be a potential delivery system for colon targeting of 5-FU in colorectal cancers.