Smart pH-Sensitive Nanogels for Controlled Release in an Acidic Environment

Peng Wei, Gauri Gangapurwala, David Pretzel, Meike N. Leiske, Limin Wang, Stephanie Hoeppener, Stephanie Schubert, Johannes C. Brendel, Ulrich S. Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The encapsulation of therapeutic compounds into nanosized delivery vectors has become an important strategy to improve efficiency and reduce side effects in drug delivery applications. Here, we report the synthesis of pH-sensitive nanogels, which are based on the monomer N-[(2,2-dimethyl-1,3-dioxolane)methyl]acrylamide (DMDOMA) bearing an acid cleavable acetal group. Degradation studies revealed that these nanogels hydrolyze under acidic conditions and degrade completely, depending on the cross-linker, but are stable in physiological environment. The best performing system was further studied regarding its release kinetics using the anticancer drug doxorubicin. In vitro studies revealed a good compatibility of the unloaded nanogel and the capability of the doxorubicin loaded nanogel to mediate cytotoxic effects in a concentration and time-dependent manner with an even higher efficiency than the free drug. Based on the investigated features, the presented nanogels represent a promising and conveniently prepared alternative to existing carrier systems for drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-140
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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