Zwitterionic materials for biomedical applications


Cabanach Xifró, Pol  


Body response to biomaterials suppose a major roadblock for the effectiveness of multiple biomaterial-based therapies. Triggered by unspecific absorption of biomolecules in the material surface, barriers such as immune system or mucosal surfaces clear foreign materials from the body, preventing them to reach their target and perform their function. Zwitterionic materials have emerged in the last years as promising antifouling materials to overcome the mentioned barriers. Although many systems have used zwitterionic materials as coatings, the unique properties of superhydrophilicity and chemical versatility suggest multiple benefits of using zwitterionic polymers as bulk materials. Here, two different systems based on zwitterionic materials are presented. In first place, an antifouling drug delivery platform based on zwitterionic amphiphilic polymers (ABC) is developed. Zwitterionic ABCs are synthetized and optimized to self-assemble in zwitterionic nanoparticles. The antifouling properties of zwitterionic nanoparticles are proved, together with their potential to become an oral drug delivery system. Next, the system is used as a drug carrier for antimalarial and anticancer drugs. Nanoparticles show internalization in Plasmodium infected erythrocytes, and curcumin-loaded nanoparticles prove their antimalarial efficacy in vitro. Oral absorption of polymer and curcumin is also observed in vivo using mice model, indicating the potential of this system to become oral therapy against malaria. When optimizing the system for anticancer therapy, Paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles exhibit anticancer activity in in vitro cancer cell models. Second, non‐immunogenic stealth zwitterionic microrobots that avoid recognition from immune cells are introduced. Zwitterionic photoresist are developed for the 3D microprinting of zwitterionic hydrogel microrobots through 2-photon polymerization with ample functionalization: tunable mechanical properties, anti-biofouling and non-immunogenic properties, functionalization for magnetic actuation, encapsulation of biomolecules, and surface functionalization for drug delivery. Stealth microrobots avoid detection by macrophage cells of the innate immune system after exhaustive inspection (> 90 h), which has not been achieved in any microrobotic platform to date. These versatile zwitterionic materials eliminate a major roadblock in the development of biocompatible microrobots, and will serve as a toolbox of non-immunogenic materials for medical microrobot and other device technologies for bioengineering and biomedical applications.




Borrós Gómez, Salvador  
Pena Francesch, Abdon   


IQS SE - Bioenginyeria

Date of defense