Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 667–673

Nanocomposite Degradable Hydrogels: Demonstration of Remote Controlled Degradation and Drug Release

  • Ashley M. Hawkins
  • Nitin S. Satarkar
  • J. Zach Hilt
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11095-008-9804-z

Cite this article as:
Hawkins, A.M., Satarkar, N.S. & Hilt, J.Z. Pharm Res (2009) 26: 667. doi:10.1007/s11095-008-9804-z



To demonstrate remote controlled degradation of degradable nanocomposite hydrogels by application of an alternating magnetic field (AMF). Further, it was desired to study the AMF effect on the drug release properties of these systems.


Degradable nanocomposite hydrogels were synthesized by incorporating iron oxide nanoparticles into a degradable hydrogel that exhibited temperature dependent degradation. Heating, degradation, and drug release studies were conducted by application of an AMF to determine if modulation of degradation and drug release could be attained.


Hydrogels were successfully prepared, shown to have temperature dependent degradation, and shown to heat when exposed to the AMF. The degradation rate of the exposed samples was demonstrated to be higher than control samples, thus modulation of degradation was obtained. The release of a model drug from the system was modulated by exposure to the AMF.


This is the first demonstration of remote controlled degradation using an AMF stimulus. Here, the proof of the concept has been presented, and there is great potential to enhance this effect through various methods. The ability to remotely control degradation of an implanted device opens a new area of improved medical devices.


degradable polymersdrug releasehydrogelsnanocompositeremote control

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley M. Hawkins
    • 1
  • Nitin S. Satarkar
    • 1
  • J. Zach Hilt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA