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Title: Multilayer Hydrogel Microcubes: Effects of Templating Particle Morphology on Cubic Hydrogel Properties

Non‐spherical stimuli‐responsive polymeric particles have shown critical importance in therapeutic delivery. Herein, pH‐responsive poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) cubic hydrogel microparticles are synthesized by crosslinking PMAA layers within PMAA/poly(N‐vinylpyrrolidone) hydrogen‐bonded multilayers templated on porous inorganic microparticles. This study investigates the effects of template porosity and surface morphology on the PMAA multilayer hydrogel microcube properties. It is found that the hydrogel structure depends on the template's calcination time and temperature. The pH‐triggered PMAA hydrogel cube swelling depends on the hydrogel's internal architecture, either hollow capsule‐like or non‐hollow continuous hydrogels. The loading efficiency of the doxorubicin (DOX) drug inside the microcubes is analyzed by high‐performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and shows the dependenceof the drug uptake on the network structure and morphology controlled by the template porosity. Varying the template calcination from low (300 °C) to high (1000 °C) temperature results in a 2.5‐fold greater DOX encapsulation by the hydrogel cubes. The effects of hydrogel surface charge on the DOX loading and release are also studied using zeta‐potential measurements. This work provides insight into the effect of structural composition, network morphology, and pH‐induced swelling of the cubical hydrogels and may advance the development of stimuli‐responsive vehicles for targeted anticancer drug delivery.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Macromolecular Materials and Engineering
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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