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9 Interpenetrating Polymer Networks Polysaccharide Hydrogels for Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

9 Interpenetrating Polymer Networks Polysaccharide Hydrogels for Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

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Polysaccharide-Based Antibiofilm Surfaces


natural polymers that can be employed for cell culture and for formulations intended

to optimize drug targeting and/or release rate, polysaccharides signify a class of

macromolecules of specific interest. This is because they are typically abundant, in

the majority of the cases obtain from renewable sources and have a large diversity

of composition and properties that may permit suitably modified chemical modifications. In addition hydrogels composed of crosslinked polysaccharides and their

derivatives have been often investigated for innovative dosage forms [18, 108]. In

addition, ecologically sensitive hydrogels have been studied as “smart” delivery

systems proficient to release an entrapped drug in response to particular physiological stimulus, at the suitable time and site of action [109]. Recently multicomponent

drug delivery systems have been produced for potential therapeutic and diagnostic

applications and among these, semi-Interpenetrating Polymeric Networks(semiIPNs) and Interpenetrating Polymeric Networks (IPNs) have appeared as novel biomaterials for drug delivery and as scaffolds for cell cultures [110]. These networks

frequently demonstrate physico-chemical properties that can extraordinarily vary

from those of the macromolecular constituents. Notably, the network properties can

be modified by the sort of polymer and its concentration, by the functional crosslinking method in addition to the general protocol employed for their preparation.

In various studies, polysaccharides are chosen for the development of IPN hydrogel

networks, which are either chemically or physically crosslinked. Occasionally both

entangled macromolecules are based on polysaccharides, however also mixtures of

synthetic polymers together and polysaccharides chains are employed to generate

(semi)-IPNs. A reasonably great number of polysaccharides have been studied for

the design of (semi)-IPNs for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications.

Table 4.4 enlisted structure, source and responsiveness of different ionic polysaccharides for drug delivery. Figure 4.6 demonstrates a scheme for the blend of polysaccharides and cross-linkers that offer neutral and ionic polysaccharide networks.


Polysaccharide-Based Antibiofilm Surfaces

It is now well identified that bacteria connect to solid supports to shape structured

communities called biofilms, also known as biopolymer matrix-enclosed microbial

populations adhering to each other and/or surfaces [111]. Biofilms occur on both

living and inert supports in all environments [112]. They influence various industrial

and domestic areas [113] and are accountable for a broad range of human diseases

[111]. In view of the ever growing number of implanted patients, biofilm-linked

infections of indwelling medical devices are more predominantly a foremost public

health issue. Various examples of implants that can be inflated by biofilm formation

are mechanical heart valves, catheters, pacemakers/defibrillators, ventricular assist

devices, vascular prostheses, coronary stents, neurosurgical ventricular shunts,

cerebrospinal fluid shunts, neurological stimulation implants, ocular prostheses,

inflatable penile, cochlear, joint prostheses, fracture-fixation devices, breast, and

dental implants and contact lenses, intrauterine contraceptive devices [114–116].



Advance Polymers and Its Applications

Table 4.4 Structure, source and responsiveness of the ionic polysaccharides for drug delivery




Exoskeleton of crustacean and

insects or cell walls of bacteria and



Marine brown seaweeds and



Seaweeds of genus Gelidium,

Euchema, Gracilaria and others

Red seaweeds of genus


Animals and humans





ethers, ionic

Gellan gum

Guar gum,



Hyaluronic acid



Xanthan gum

Higher plant cell walls, followed

by substitution reactions

Extracellular secretion of

Pseudomonas elodea

Seed of a plant (Cyamopsis

tetragonolobus), followed by

substitution reactions

Animals and humans

Extracellular matrix of higher


Higher plant cell walls

Fungi of the genus Sclerotium

Microbial exopolysaccharide of

Xanthomonas campestris


Ions, pH, electrical field (composites

with inorganic particles), temperature

(grafted with PNIPAAm or PEO-PPOPEO), redox (if thiolated), magnetic

(with Fe3O4), and specific molecules

(dynamic Schiff bases)

Ions, pH, electrical field, surfactants,

light (anthracene grafted) temperature

(grafted with PNIPAAm), redox (if

thiolated), and magnetic (with Fe3O4)

Ions and pH

Red seaweeds of genus Rhodophyceae

Ions, pH, and colon enzymes

Ions, pH, and temperature

Ions, pH, and temperature

Ions, pH, and temperature

Ions, pH, redox (if thiolated)

Ions, pH, electrical field, light

(anthracene grafted), temperature

(grafted with PNIPAAm), and redox

(itself and thiolated)

Ions, pH, and colon enzymes

Ions and pH

Ions, pH, and temperature

Bacteria usually derived from biofilm-infected implants comprise the gram positive

Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermidis Staphylococcus aureus, and

Streptococcus mutans, and the gram-negative Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis

Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa [117, 118]. Biofilm-associated

infections are mainly challenging since sessile bacteria are much more resistant to

antibiotics and biocides than their planktonic counterparts [119]. Therefore, the

behavior of biofilm infections requires high concentrations of disinfectants or antibiotics, which may form the basis of severe environmental compensation and multiresistance emergence. In this concern, anticipation of biofilm development is really

considerable to any post-infection treatment. At the biomaterial surface level, two

chief approaches are now proposed to oppose biofilm formation, i.e., the growth of

anti-adhesive or bactericidal surfaces (Fig. 4.7) the application of biofilm-degrading



Polysaccharide-Based Antibiofilm Surfaces











Cross linker




Fig. 4.6 Blend of polysaccharides and cross-linkers that provide neutral and ionic polysaccharide


Fig. 4.7 Prominent approaches for antibacterial surface design



Advance Polymers and Its Applications

agents [120] being still in its development period. Surfaces that are principally

repellent are evaluated by a decline in the number but no considerable loss in viability of attached bacteria. Anti-adhesive features of inert materials can be developed

by altering surface features known to influence microbial cell adhesion, specifically

surface topography(roughness) and physico chemistry (hydrophilic or hydrophobic,

surface free energy, cationic or anionic behavior) [121–124]. A physical handling of

the surface such as plasma irradiation pursued or not by attachment of anti-adhesive

molecules or polymers, is usually functional for that point [125]. Nevertheless, sustained cell adhesion on implanted materials is mandatory for appropriate tissue

incorporation of permanent implants e.g. vascular grafts or joint prostheses.

Therefore, the characteristics of such implant surfaces must equilibrate between

repellency against bacterial cells and adhesiveness for tissue cells, regulating the

“race for the surface” [126, 127] between bacteria and tissue cells. Killing effect of

the surface against attached and/or suspended bacteria is decorated by a decline in

adherent cell viability and/or the number of viable suspended cells. As illustrated in

Fig. 4.7, bacterial killing features can be attaining by non-covalent immobilization

of an antimicrobial agent via direct integration in the biomaterial bulk or deposition

on the surface, resulting in additional release of the drug in the adjoining medium.

Alternate approach comprised of covalent binding of an antibacterial compound to

the biomaterial surface to develop a contact-killing coating. The primary method

has been extensively employed in commercial devices e.g. catheters that are heparinized for thrombo-resistance and loaded with antimicrobials [128]. The covalent

methodology offers the merit of circumventing possible noxious effects of classical

biocidal compounds and failure in effectiveness owing to a partial reservoir facility

of the biomaterial [129]. In addition, both approaches could be assorted to detail

infection-resistant biomedical materials with synergic anti-adhesive and bactericidal features. Among all properties of biofilm development is the fabrication of an

extracellular matrix composed of 90 % water and 10 % extracellular polymeric substances [130]. The later are principally consisting of polysaccharides and proteins,

but also comprise nucleic acids, lipids and other biological macromolecules. Their

components mediate cell-to-cell and cell-to-surface interactions that are essential

for biofilm production and stabilization [130]. A number of reports also recommend

that some bacterial extracellular polysaccharides might hinder and/or destabilize

the biofilm [131, 132]. Nevertheless, none of antibiofilm exopolysaccharides recognized to date that demonstrates antibacterial activity. All of them perform as surfactant molecules, altering the physical characteristics of bacterial cells and a biotic

surfaces [133]. On the other hand, several bacterial exopolysaccharides have been

exposed to present antimicrobial effectiveness [134–137], as have been chitosan, a

chitin derivative [138], and some polysaccharides of algal [139, 140], fungal [141]

and plant origins. Therefore, modified polysaccharides are being produced as bacteria-repellent and/or –killing coatings for material surfaces exposed to biofilm




Polymers, and Their Complexes Used as Stabilizers for Emulsions


Polymers, and Their Complexes Used as Stabilizers

for Emulsions

Emulsions are extensively employed in pharmaceutics for the encapsulation, solubilization, entrapment, and controlled delivery of active ingredients [142]. With the

aim to answer the growing demand for clean label excipients, natural polymers can

swap the potentially irritative synthetic surfactants employed in emulsion formulation. Certainly, biopolymers are at present employed in the food industry to stabilize

emulsions, and they emerge as capable candidates in the pharmaceutical field too.

Most of the proteins and a number of polysaccharides are able to adsorb at a globule

surface, consequently declining the interfacial tension and increasing the interfacial

elasticity [142]. Nevertheless, most polysaccharides stabilize emulsions merely by

enhancing the viscosity of the continuous phase. Proteins and polysaccharides may

also be related either through covalent bonding or electrostatic interactions. The

blend of the features of these biopolymers under suitable environment results in

increase in emulsion stability. Substitute layers of oppositely charged biopolymers

can also be fashioned around the globules to acquire multi-layered “membranes”.

These layers can offer electrostatic and steric stabilization consequently enhancing

thermal stability and resistance to external treatment. The new biopolymer-stabilized

emulsions have a immense prospective in the pharmaceutical field for controlled

digestion, encapsulation and targeted release while a number of challenging subject

e.g. storage and bacteriological concerns still require consideration [142]. Various

destabilization mechanisms for an oil in water emulsion are mention in Fig. 4.8.













Fig. 4.8 Plan presentation of different destabilization mechanisms for an oil in water emulsion



Advance Polymers and Its Applications










Covalent complexes



Non covelent



Whey protein


Without complexation

Pea protein

Fig. 4.9 Polysaccharides as stabilizers for emulsions

Polysaccharides are widely recognized for their water-holding and thickening

features because of their hydrophilic character and high molecular weight. They

can be divided in two groups for their application in stabilizing emulsions droplets.

Most frequent polysaccharides do not have a great deal of an affinity to adsorb at

fluid interfaces. Non-adsorbing polysaccharides have no or restricted surface

activity and augment the emulsion stability by gelling or altering the viscosity of

the aqueous continuous phase, which slows down droplet progress [142]. A number of other polysaccharides e.g. naturally occurring galactomannan hydrocolloids

(guar gum, fenugreek gum), gum arabic, chemically modified starch or cellulose

derivatives, acetylated pectin from sugar beet, etc. exhibit surface/interfacial activity. They foremost stabilize emulsions by adsorption at the oil droplet surface and

then avert droplet flocculation and coalescence through electrostatic and/or steric

repulsive forces [142]. For gum arabic and galactomannans, the surface action

effect generally from the presence of a protein fraction in their structure. It also

appears that the protein related with the pectin plays a significant role in stabilizing

emulsion. On the other hand, for cellulose derivatives, the surface activity is due to

the combination of hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups along the cellulose backbone [142]. Polysaccharides are classified in non-adsorbing polysaccharides if

they do not display surface activity and adsorbing ones if they can stabilize emulsions through their adsorption at the oil–water interface by lowering the interfacial

tension (Fig. 4.9).


1. Peppas NA, Bures P, Leobandung W, Ichikawa H. Hydrogels in pharmaceutical formulations.

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2000;50:27–46.

2. Rosiak JM, Yoshii F. Hydrogels and their medical applications. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys

Res, Sect B. 1999;151:56–64.

3. Nishinari K, Zhang H, Ikeda S. Hydrocolloid gels of polysaccharides and proteins. Curr Opin

Colloid Interface Sci. 2000;5:195–201.

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