Extended, Localized, and Tailorable Delivery of Therapeutics from Poly(ester urea) Systems

March 8, 2023
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Event sponsored by:



De La Cruz, Claudia


Ph.D. Defense, Brigham-Stinson, Natasha
Natasha Brigham-Stinson, Ph.D. Candidate Matthew L. Becker, Ph.D., Advisor Abstract: Adequate pain management within the first 3-5 days following a procedure is vital to the enhancement of patient healing and recovery. The current gold standard for relieving post operative pain consists of oral medication which, though effective, only offers temporary relief through frequent doses as pain persists, delivers drug systemically and inefficiently, and introduces an inherent potential of misuse and abuse of pain killers. A probable solution is the fabrication of a drug-load matrix to impart local, sustained release of analgesic compounds. Specifically, a novel class of polymers, poly(ester urea)s (PEUs) have been developed and analyzed for their ability to achieve controlled drug delivery. In recent literature, PEUs have displayed a limited inflammatory response, tunable mechanical properties, and degradation. Due to their versatility, PEUs have been applied to a variety of applications, ranging from sturdy bone implants to grafts for soft tissue repair. Moreover, PEUs have high flexibility in processability and in turn different matrix fabrications for drug delivery are feasible, such as drug-loaded implantable devices or injectable dosage forms (microparticles). Thus far, non-opioid analgesic compounds (i.e. bupivacaine, lidocaine, and etoricoxib) have successfully been incorporated into PEU films. The release profiles of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from PEU films reveal sustained release over time that varies with chemical composition, film thickness, and drug-load. Additionally, drug diffusion from the polymer matrices follow Fickian diffusion as suggested through fitting to a Higuchi model. Similar release results have also been shown in vivo with etoricoxib and varying polymer composition. Preliminary results reveal integration of the film with local tissue while limiting exposure of drug systemically. Overall, our work highlights the adaptability of PEUs as an emerging biomaterial that's potential has yet to be exhausted as well as providing a promising alternative to achieving sufficient post-operative pain management.