Specific and targeted delivery of medical therapies continues to be a challenge for the optimal treatment of multiple medical conditions. Technological advances permit physicians to target most sites of the body. However, after the intervention, physicians rely on systemic medications that need frequent dosing and may have noxious side effects. A novel system combining the temporal flexibility of systemic drug delivery and the spatial control of injectable biomaterials would improve the spatiotemporal control of medical therapies. Here we present an implantable biomaterial that harnesses in vivo click chemistry to enhance the delivery of suitable small molecules by an order of magnitude. The results demonstrate a simple and modular method to modify a biomaterial with small molecules in vitro and present an example of a polysaccharide modified hours after in vivo implantation. This approach provides the ability to precisely control the moment when biochemical and/or physical signals may appear in an implanted biomaterial. This is the first step towards the construction of a biomaterial that enhances the spatial location of systemic small molecules via in vivo chemical delivery.
Keywords: Alginate; Click chemistry; Drug delivery; Hydrogel; In vivo imaging.
Copyright © 2014 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.