A novel, biodegradable and reversible polyelectrolyte platform for topical-colonic delivery of pentosan polysulphate

Hardik K Shah, Jim A Conkie, Robert C Tait, James R Johnson, Clive G Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of the present work was to develop a swellable hydrogel colonic delivery system, which would maximise the availability of the therapeutic agent at a site of inflammation, especially where the water is scarce. A novel method was developed to manufacture a biodegradable and reversible polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) containing chitosan and poly acrylic-acid (PAA). The PEC was analysed using FTIR and DSC, which confirmed the formation of non-permanent swollen gel-network at an alkaline pH. Pentosan polysulphate (PPS) was incorporated in a PEC and an activated partial thromboplastin time assay was developed to measure the release of PPS from PEC. In vitro studies suggested that the release of PPS was dependent on the initial drug loading and the composition of the PEC. The gel strength of the swollen network, determined using a texture analyser, was dependent on polymer composition and the amount of PPS incorporated. Bacterial enzymes were collected from the rat caecum and colon for the digestion studies and characterised for glucosidase activity, glucuronidase activity and protein content. The digestion of the reversible polyelectrolyte complexes was measured using a dinitro salicylic acid assay and an increased release of drug was also confirmed in the presence of bacterial enzymes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Early online date17 Nov 2010
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2011


  • acrylic resins
  • administration, topical
  • animals
  • anti-inflammatory agents
  • anticoagulants
  • bacteria
  • blood coagulation
  • calorimetry, differential scanning
  • chemistry, pharmaceutical
  • chitosan
  • colon
  • digestion
  • drug carriers
  • drug compounding
  • gastrointestinal agents
  • glucosidases
  • glucuronidase
  • hydrogels
  • hydrogen-ion concentration
  • kinetics
  • male
  • partial thromboplastin time
  • pentosan sulfuric polyester
  • rats
  • rats, sprague-dawley
  • solubility
  • spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared
  • technology, pharmaceutical

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