Treatment of cancer in the peritoneal cavity may be improved with macroscale drug delivery systems that offer control over intraperitoneal concentration of chemotherapeutic agents. Currently, suitable drug carriers to facilitate a sustained release of small hydrophilic drugs such as mitomycin C are lacking. For this purpose, a pH-responsive supramolecular hydrogel based on ureido-pyrimidinone (UPy) chemistry is utilized here. In order to provide a sustained release profile, a lipophilicity-increasing cholesterol conjugation strategy is proposed that enhances affinity between the modified drug (mitomycin-PEG24 -cholesterol, MPC) and the hydrophobic compartments in the UPy gel. Additional advantages of cholesterol conjugation include improved chemical stability and potency of mitomycin C. In vitro the tunability of the system to obtain optimal effective concentrations over time is demonstrated with a combinatorial treatment of mitomycin C and MPC in one UPy hydrogel delivery system.
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