, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 1261–1273 | Cite as

Thermoresponsive N-vinyl caprolactam grafted sodium alginate hydrogel beads for the controlled release of an anticancer drug

  • Bala Yerri Swamy
  • Jeong Hyun Chang
  • Heejoon Ahn
  • Won-Ki Lee
  • Ildoo Chung
Original Paper


A series of thermoresponsive sodium alginate-g-poly(vinyl caprolactam) (NaAlg-g-PNVCL) beads were prepared as drug delivery matrices of 5-flurouracil (5-FU) crosslinked by glutaraldehyde (GA) in the hydrochloric acid catalyst. Graft copolymers of sodium alginate with vinyl caprolactam were synthesized using azobisisobutyronitrile as an initiator, and characterized by Fourier infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calrimetry and X-ray diffraction for analysis of the amorphous nature drug in the beads, and by scanning electron microscopy for the spherical nature of the beads. Preparation condition of the beads was optimized by considering the percentage of encapsulation efficiency, swelling behavior of beads and their release data. Effects of variables such as GA concentration, drug/polymer ratio and catalyst concentration on the release of 5-FU were carried out at two different temperatures (25 and 37 °C) in simulated intestinal fluid for 12 h. It was observed that, drug release from the beads decreased with increasing drug/polymer (d/p) ratio, extent of crosslinking agent and catalyst concentration. The swelling degree of graft copolymer beads was found to be increased with decreasing of environmental temperature. In vitro release studies were performed at 25 and 37 °C for 12 h, and showed that thermoresponsive graft copolymer beads had higher drug release behavior at 25 °C than that at 37 °C, following Fickian diffusion transport mechanism with slight deviation.


Controlle release Drug delivery Graft copolymer 5-Flurouracil In vitro release Encapsulation efficiency 



This research was financially supported by the 2013 Post-Doc. Development Program of Pusan National University and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (No. 2010-0008129).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bala Yerri Swamy
    • 1
  • Jeong Hyun Chang
    • 2
  • Heejoon Ahn
    • 3
  • Won-Ki Lee
    • 4
  • Ildoo Chung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Polymer Science and EngineeringPusan National UniversityBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Laboratory ScienceDaegu Haany UniversityDaeguKorea
  3. 3.Department of Organic and Nano Engineering and Institute of Nano Science and TechnologyHanyang UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of Polymer EngineeringPukyong National UniversityBusanKorea

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