Oligonucleotide-functionalized hydrogels for sustained release of small molecule (aptamer) therapeutics

Nikunj K. Agrawal, Peter Allen, Young Hye Song, Rebecca A. Wachs, Yan Du, Andrew D. Ellington, Christine E. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural and synthetic hydrogels have been widely investigated as biomaterial scaffolds to promote tissue repair and regeneration. Nevertheless, the scaffold alone is often insufficient to drive new tissue growth, instead requiring continuous delivery of therapeutics, such as proteins or other biomolecules that work in concert with structural support provided by the scaffold. However, because of the high-water content, hydrogels tend to be permeable and cause rapid release of the encapsulated drug, which could lead to serious complications from local overdose and may result in the significant waste of encapsulated therapeutic(s). To this end, we designed an oligonucleotide-functionalized hydrogel that can provide sustained and controlled delivery of therapeutics for up to 4 weeks. To prove this concept, we successfully achieved sustained release (for over 28 days) of model anti-Nogo receptor (anti-NgR) RNA aptamer from oligonucleotide-functionalized hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel by changing the complementarity between the short antisense sequences and the aptamer. Furthermore, the released aptamer successfully blocked neuro-inhibitory effects of myelin-derived inhibitors and promoted neurite outgrowth from rat dorsal root ganglia in vitro. Because antisense sequences can be designed to bind to proteins, peptides, and aptamer, our oligonucleotide-functionalized hydrogel offers a promising therapeutic delivery system to obtain controlled release (both bolus and sustained) of various therapeutics for the treatment of complex diseases and injury models, such as spinal cord injury. Statement of significance: Producing a therapeutic effect often requires the administration of multiple injections with high dosages. This regimen causes discomfort to the patient and raises cost of treatment. Additionally, systemic delivery of therapeutics often results in adverse effects; therefore, local delivery at the site of injury is desirable. Therefore, in this study, we designed an oligonucleotide-functionalized biomaterial platform using ssDNA oligonucleotides (immobile species) as antisense sequences to increase residence time and fine-tune the release of anti-nogo receptor aptamer (mobile species) for spinal cord injury application. Because antisense sequences can be designed to bind proteins, peptides, and aptamer, our hydrogel offers a promising delivery system to obtain controlled release of various therapeutics for the treatment of complex diseases and injury models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume102
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2020

Keywords

  • Aptamer
  • Biomaterials
  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery
  • Hydrogel
  • Oligonucleotides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

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