Click Reaction Dissolves Hydrogel for Drug Release

  • Author: Chemistry – An Asian Journal
  • Published Date: 30 November 2018
  • Source / Publisher: Chemistry – An Asian Journal/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Click Reaction Dissolves Hydrogel for Drug Release

Stimuli-responsive hydrogels are promising materials for drug delivery. The hydrogels can be designed to encapsulate a drug as cargo. A specific stimulus triggers a transition from a gel to a solution, which releases the drug.

Allan Gamble and colleagues, University of Otago, New Zealand, have developed a way to induce hydrogel dissolution via a bio-orthogonal bond-cleavage reaction. A dipeptide hydrogel with azide capping groups (p‐azidobenzyl carbamate‐PhePhe dipeptide) was used to encapsulate the anticancer drug doxorubicin (pictured in red).

The addition of a strained alkene, trans‐cyclooctene (TCO), results in the gel-to-solution transition and the release of doxorubicin (pictured below). This is caused by an alkene–azide 1,3‐dipolar cycloaddition between the TCO and the azide, followed by hydrolysis and conversion to an amine (pictured in yellow).


This "click-to-dissolve" strategy enables the release of the hydrogel cargo. It complements the current arsenal of stimuli-responsive hydrogels that are available. Further modifications to the peptide and the azide-capped linker could lead to alkene-induced gel dissolution at varying rates and broaden the range of applications.


Article Views: 2996

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission and consult our permission guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH