In this work, pH-sensitive hydrogel nanoparticles based on N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAM) and methacrylic acid (MAA) at various molar ratios, were synthesized and characterized in terms of physicochemical and biological properties. FTIR and 1HNMR spectra confirmed the successful synthesis of the copolymer that formed nanoparticles. AFM images and FE-SEM micrographs showed that nanoparticles were spherical, but their round-shape was slightly compromised with MAA content; besides, the size of particles tends to decrease as MAA content increased. The hydrogels nanoparticles also exhibited an interesting pH-sensitivity, displaying changes in its particle size when changes in pH media occurred. Biological characterization results indicate that all the synthesized particles are non-cytotoxic to endothelial cells and hemocompatible, although an increase of MAA content leads to a slight increase in the hemolysis percentage. Therefore, the pH-sensitivity hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform as self-regulated drug delivery systems in response to environmental pH changes.
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This work was partially supported by CONACYT (Mexico), grant CB-2016-283972. Carlos Belman-Flores acknowledges CONACYT for his scholarship (No. 834809). Authors also would like to thank CONACYT grants No. 268595 and 248378 and MSc. Dora Alicia Huerta for the FE-SEM micrographs.
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Belman-Flores, C.E., Herrera-Kao, W., Vargas-Coronado, R.F. et al. Synthesis and characterization of pH sensitive hydrogel nanoparticles based on poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide-co-methacrylic acid). J Mater Sci: Mater Med 31, 61 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10856-020-06400-x