Polyphosphoester microspheres for sustained release of biologically active nerve growth factor
Controlled delivery of neurotrophic proteins to a target tissue by biodegradable polymer microspheres has been explored widely for its potential applications in the treatment of various disorders in the nervous system. We investigated in this study the potential of polyphosphoester microspheres as carriers for the sustained release of nerve growth factor (NGF), a water-soluble neurotrophic protein. Two polyphosphoesters (PPEs), P(BHET-EOP/TC) and P(DAPG-EOP), as well as poly(lactide/glycolic acid) (PLGA), were used to fabricate microspheres by a W/O/W emulsion and solvent evaporation/extraction method. With bovine serum albumin as a model protein to optimize processing parameters, P(DAPG-EOP) microspheres exhibited a lower burst effect but similar protein entrapment levels and efficiencies when compared with those made of PLGA. Bioactive NGF could be released for at least 10 weeks from the P(DAPG-EOP) microspheres, as confirmed by a neurite outgrowth assay of the PC12 cells. These NGF containing microspheres were incorporated into the nerve guide conduits that were implanted to bridge a 10mm gap in a rat sciatic nerve model. Two weeks after implantation, immunostaining with an antibody against the neurofilament protein confirmed the presence of axons at the distal end of regenerated cables within the NGF microsphere-loaded conduits. These results demonstrated the feasibility of using biodegradable PPEs for microencapsulation of NGF and provided a basis for future therapeutic application of the microspheres. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Xu, X; Yu, H; Gao, S; Mao, H-Q; Leong, KW; Wang, S
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