The pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of a 64 kDa PolyPEG star polymer after subcutaneous and pulmonary administration to rats

Song Yang Khor, Jinming Hu, Victoria McLeod, John Quinn, Christopher J H Porter, Mikey Whittaker, Lisa Kaminskas, Thomas Davis

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18 Citations (Scopus)


PolyPEG star polymers have potential utility as cost-effective polymeric drug delivery vehicles, and as such, it is important to develop an understanding of their biopharmaceutical behavior. Moreover, although a number of studies have evaluated the utility of PolyPEG stars in vitro, investigation of these novel materials in vivo has been limited. Herein, we evaluated the pharmacokinetics of a 64 kDa tritiated PEG-based star polymer after subcutaneous and pulmonary administration in rats. After subcutaneous administration, the star polymer showed near complete bioavailability (∼80%) and a similar organ biodistribution profile to the polymer after intravenous administration. After intratracheal instillation to the lungs, the star polymer showed limited bioavailability (∼3%), and most of the administered radiolabel was recovered in lung tissue and feces after 6 d. The data reported here suggest that star polymers display similar pharmaceutical behavior to PEGylated dendrimers after subcutaneous and inhaled delivery and may therefore be used as similar, but more cost-effective drug delivery vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • bioavailability
  • biodistribution
  • nanoparticles
  • PEG
  • pharmacokinetics
  • pulmonary
  • star polymers
  • subcutaneous

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