Mechanisms controlling diffusion and release of model proteins through and from partially esterified hyaluronic acid membranes

L D Simon, Valentino J Stella, William N Charman, Susan A Charman

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of polymer percent esterification and protein molecular weight on the diffusion of two model proteins, deoxyribonuclease (DNase) and ribonuclease A (RNase A), through and from partially esterified hyaluronic acid membranes were compared. The permeability of the polymer membranes was inversely related to the degree of polymer esterification and the molecular weight of the protein. Transport rates of proteins through the membranes decreased dramatically over narrow ranges of polymer esterification. As expected, the apparent diffusivity of the larger protein in the polymer matrix was more sensitive to changes in membrane hydration than that of the smaller protein. These observations demonstrated the dependence of the mobility of large molecular weight proteins on polymer hydration and chain relaxation. The relationship between protein diffusion through and release from the modified hyaluronate matrices was also investigated using RNase A as a model. The release profiles from fully esterified membranes showed lag behavior and varied with protein load and hyaluronate hydrolysis rates, while release from less esterified membranes was rapid and independent of polymer esterification or hydrolysis. Potential applications of modified hyaluronate matrices in the controlled delivery of proteins are discussed. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 1999


  • Hyaluronic acid esters
  • Polymer membranes
  • Protein load
  • Protein permeability
  • Protein release

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