Thermoresponsive Hydrogel-Based Local Delivery of Simvastatin for the Treatment of Periodontitis

Ningrong Chen, Rongguo Ren, Xin Wei, Roshni Mukundan, Guojuan Li, Xiaoke Xu, Gang Zhao, Zhifeng Zhao, Subodh M. Lele, Richard A. Reinhardt, Dong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Except for routine scaling and root planing, there are few effective nonsurgical therapeutic interventions for periodontitis and associated alveolar bone loss. Simvastatin (SIM), one of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-cosenzyme A reductase inhibitors, which is known for its capacity as a lipid-lowering medication, has been proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory and bone anabolic agent that has shown promising benefits in mitigating periodontal bone loss. The local delivery of SIM into the periodontal pocket, however, has been challenging due to SIM's poor water solubility and its lack of osteotropicity. To overcome these issues, we report a novel SIM formulation of a thermoresponsive, osteotropic, injectable hydrogel (PF127) based on pyrophosphorolated pluronic F127 (F127-PPi). After mixing F127-PPi with F127 at a 1:1 ratio, the resulting PF127 was used to dissolve free SIM to generate the SIM-loaded formulation. The thermoresponsive hydrogel's rheologic behavior, erosion and SIM release kinetics, osteotropic property, and biocompatibility were evaluated in vitro. The therapeutic efficacy of SIM-loaded PF127 hydrogel on periodontal bone preservation and inflammation resolution was validated in a ligature-induced periodontitis rat model. Given that SIM is already an approved medication for hyperlipidemia, the data presented here support the translational potential of the SIM-loaded PF127 hydrogel for better clinical management of periodontitis and associated pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1992-2003
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 3 2021


  • periodontitis
  • poloxamer
  • pyrophosphate
  • simvastatin
  • targeted drug delivery
  • thermoresponsive hydrogel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermoresponsive Hydrogel-Based Local Delivery of Simvastatin for the Treatment of Periodontitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this