Universidade da Coruña, Grupo de Polímeros, Departamento de Física y Ciencias de la Tierra, Escuela Universitaria Politécnica, Serantes, Avda. 19 de Febrero s/n, 15471 Ferrol, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]
A novel composite hydrogel was prepared as a dual drug delivery carrier. Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) microparticles were prepared to encapsulate simultaneously ketoprofen and mupirocin, as hydrophobic drug models. These microparticles were embedded in a physically crosslinked hydrogel of κ-carrageenan/locust bean gum. This composite hydrogel showed for both drugs a slower release than the obtained release from microparticles and hydrogel separately. The release of both drugs was observed during a period of 7 days at 37 °C. Different kinetic models were analyzed and the results indicated the best fitting to a Higuchi model suggesting that the release was mostly controlled by diffusion. Also, the drug loaded microparticles were spherical with average mean particle size of 1.0 μm, mesoporous, and distributed homogeneously in the hydrogel. The composite hydrogel showed a thermosensitive swelling behavior reaching 183% of swelling ratio at 37 °C. The composite hydrogel showed the elastic component to be higher than the viscous component, indicating characteristics of a strong hydrogel. The biocompatibility was evaluated with in vitro cytotoxicity assays and the results indicated that this composite hydrogel could be considered as a potential biomaterial for dual drug delivery, mainly for wound healing applications.