Nanostructured Hydrogel Films for Encapsulation & Release

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

We have recently discovered a new method of making solid nanostructured films of water soluble polymers with surfactants. These membranes form spontaneously at the surface of aqueous solutions of the two components, and contain highly ordered arrays of micelles surrounded and bound together by the polymer. The films are robust, can be easily lifted from the interface where they form, and will grow over an arbitrarily large area, the size of the container where they are prepared. Our preliminary experiments have shown that it is possible to incorporate hydrophobic material within the micelle array inside the films. The ability to encapsulate other molecules in these films raises the possibility of using them for sustained release applications to deliver eg drugs, flavours, pesticides etc. In this proposal we will work to develop polymer-surfactant membrane-forming systems to optimise nanostructure formation and encapsulation properties and to map the relationship between polymer and surfactant properties and those of the resulting membrane. This new method provides a simple, cheap and straightforward method to creating large areas of free-standing polymer membranes with encapsulated material and in this proposal we will particularly target formation of the membranes from biocompatible polymers towards potential drug release applications.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Edler KJ (2013) Formation of mesostructured thin films at the air-liquid interface. in Chemical Society reviews

publication icon
Aberg C (2009) Nonequilibrium phase transformations at the air-liquid interface. in Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

publication icon
Gustavsson C (2014) Water-responsive internally structured polymer-surfactant films on solid surfaces. in Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

 
Description We discovered a new one-step method of making solid nanostructured films of water soluble polymers with surfactants and in this grant we explored ways to control and exploit these membranes. The films form spontaneously at the surface of aqueous solutions of the two components, and contain highly ordered arrays of micelles surrounded and bound together by the polymer. The films are robust, can be easily lifted from the interface where they form and grow over an arbitrarily large area, the size of the container where they are prepared. Our experiments have shown that it is possible to incorporate hydrophobic material within the micelle array inside the films and we have now demonstrated sustained release of such species from the films meaning these membranes have potential for development in applications to deliver eg drugs, flavours, pesticides etc. In this project we optimized the polymer-surfactant film-forming systems to control nanostructure formation and encapsulation properties and have started to map the relationship between polymer and surfactant properties and those of the resulting membrane. This new method of film formation provides a simple, cheap and straightforward way to create large areas of free-standing polymer membranes with encapsulated material. We have also demonstrated formation of the membranes from biocompatible polymers (including sodium alginate, polyethylene oxide and DNA), and less toxic zwitterionic surfactants to pursue development towards potential drug release applications. Responsive polymers such as some responsive polymers such as polyNIPAM and polyethylenimine also were also shown to form films, meaning applications requiring triggered release could be contemplated. Membrane formation methods were also probed and we have demonstrated that this method can be used to prepare either free-standing self-supporting nanostructured films or coatings on surfaces with similar structures via dip or spin coating or aerosol spraying of the same homogeneous aqueous solutions used for spontaneous film growth at the solution surface. Single applications form layers of a few hundred nm thickness, and the coating thickness can be increased by further coating steps while retaining the initial nanostructure.
Exploitation Route Formation of films for drug delivery, templates for other materials, sensor supports, pollutant adsorption responsive membranes & surface coatings.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Currently films are under investigation for drug delivery with collaborators at Reading University.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Healthcare
 
Description British Heart Foundation New Horizons Scheme
Amount £298,931 (GBP)
Funding ID NH/11/7/29032 
Organisation British Heart Foundation (BHF) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 01/2015
 
Description Diamond/Bath Science Faculty PhD studentship
Amount £45,327 (GBP)
Funding ID STU0149 
Organisation Diamond Light Source 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Description EPSRC Directed Assembly Pump-priming Award
Amount £14,498 (GBP)
Funding ID PP13 05 02 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme
Amount £747,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/J005134/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2012 
End 10/2013
 
Description Mesostructures in Cat-anionic Surfactant - Polymer Films (Overseas travel grant)
Amount £6,430 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H00985X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2009 
End 11/2009
 
Description Polymer-surfactant Films Incorporating Carbon Nanotubes as Responsive Structures
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 2010/R1 South America and Cuba-UK 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 10/2012
 
Description Responsive Membranes from Polymer-Surfactant Films
Amount £146,595 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/F020546/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 01/2013
 
Description Solution and Surface Characterisation of Nanocomposite Film Forming Systems
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Polyelectrolyte-Surfactant Interactions in Film Forming Solutions 
Organisation Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technologies
Country Cuba 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration to do research on formation mechanisms and polyelectrolyte-surfactant Interactions in film forming solutions with collaborators from InSTEC, Havana, Cuba. Funded by Royal Society.
Collaborator Contribution Research on formation mechanisms and properties of polyelectrolyte-surfactant interactions in film forming solutions
Impact 10.1039/b700942a, 10.1016/j.jcis.2009.07.067, 10.1039/C3SM27541H Chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry.
 
Description Polyelectrolyte-Surfactant Interactions in Film Forming Solutions Continuing 
Organisation Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research into polymer-surfactant interactions at interfaces, polymer-surfactant film formation, polymer-lung surfactant interactions
Collaborator Contribution Partners moved from Havana to Rio. Research into polymer-surfactant interactions at interfaces, polymer-surfactant film formation, polymer-lung surfactant interactions
Impact none yet. Chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Visiting Professorship at Lund University 
Organisation Lund University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 1 year guest professorship 2012 at Physical Chemistry, Lund University, continuing at 10% per year 2013-2016. Chance to collaborate with several investigators in the extensive soft matter group at Physical Chemistry, in Lund on a range of projects from mesoporous inorganic oxides, to polymer-surfactant self-assembly. Co-supervision of PhD students.
Collaborator Contribution Research into effects of humidity on polymer-surfactant films, nucleation of mesoporous inorganic oxides, formation of membranes of complex salts.
Impact 10.1021/la503210g, 10.1063/1.4897282, 10.1021/la5010825, 10.1021/la9036327, 10.1021/la900867k, Chemistry, physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry.
Start Year 2009