Controlled release of vancomycin from PEGylated fibrinogen polyethylene glycol diacrylate hydrogel

Duc Viet Nguyen, Yunong Yuan, Marek Kukumberg, Lingxin Wang, Seng Han Lim, Ammar Mansoor Hassanbhai, Mark Chong, Theodoros Kofidis, Edwin C.K. Tan, Dror Seliktar, Lifeng Kang, Abdul Jalil Rufaihah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surgical site infection (SSI) is a common issue post-surgery which often prolongs hospitalization and can lead to serious complications such as sternal wound infection following cardiac surgery via median sternotomy. Controlled release of suitable antibiotics could allow maximizing drug efficacy and safety, and therefore achieving a desired therapeutic response. In this study, we have developed a vancomycin laden PEGylated fibrinogen–polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PF-PEGDA) hydrogel system that can release vancomycin at a controlled and predictable rate to be applied in SSI prevention. Two configurations were developed to study effect of the hydrogel on drug release, namely, vancomycin laden hydrogel and vancomycin solution on top of blank hydrogel. The relationship between the rigidity of the hydrogel and drug diffusion was found to comply with a universal power law, i.e., softer hydrogels result in a greater diffusion coefficient hence faster release rate. Besides, vancomycin laden hydrogels exhibited burst release, whereas the vancomycin solution on top of blank hydrogels exhibited lag release. A mathematical model was developed to simulate vancomycin permeation through the hydrogels. The permeation of vancomycin can be predicted accurately by using the mathematical model, which provided a useful tool to customize drug loading, hydrogel thickness and stiffness for personalized medication to manage SSI. To evaluate the potential of hydrogels for bone healing applications in cardiovascular medicine, we performed a proof-of-concept median sternotomy in rabbits and applied the hydrogels. The hydrogel formulations accelerated the onset of osteo-genetic processes in rabbits, demonstrating its potential to be used in human.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213896
JournalBiomaterials Advances
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery
  • Fick's law
  • Hydrogel
  • Surgical infection
  • Vancomycin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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