Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Nanovaccine Institute

Document Type


Research Focus Area

Advanced and Nanostructured Materials, Health Care Technology and Biomedical Engineering

Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

ACS Combinatorial Science




Combinatorial techniques can accelerate the discovery and development of polymeric nanodelivery devices by pairing high-throughput synthesis with rapid materials characterization. Biodegradable polyanhydrides demonstrate tunable release, high cellular internalization, and dose sparing properties when used as nanodelivery devices. This nanoparticle platform shows promising potential for small molecule drug delivery, but the pace of understanding and rational design of these nanomedicines is limited by the low throughput of conventional characterization. This study reports the use of a high-throughput method to synthesize libraries of a newly synthesized, rapidly-eroding polyanhydride copolymer based on 1,8-bis(p-carboxyphenoxy)-3,6-dioxaoctane (CPTEG) and sebacic acid (SA) monomers. The high-throughput method enabled efficient screening of copolymer microstructure, revealing weak block-type and alternating architectures. The high-throughput method was adapted to synthesize nanoparticle libraries encapsulating hydrophobic model drugs. Drug release from these nanoparticles was rapid, with a majority of the payload released within three days. Drug release was dramatically slowed at acidic pH, which could be useful for oral drug delivery. Rhodamine B (RhoB) release kinetics generally followed patterns of polymer erosion kinetics, while Coomassie brilliant blue (CBB) released the fastest from the slowest degrading polymer chemistry and vice versa. These differences in trends between copolymer chemistry and release kinetics were hypothesized to arise from differences in mixing thermodynamics. A high-throughput method was developed to synthesize polymer-drug film libraries and characterize mixing thermodynamics by melting point depression. Rhodamine B had a negative χ for all copolymers tested, indicating a tendency toward miscibility. By contrast, CBB χ increased, eventually becoming positive, with increasing CPTEG content. This indicates an increasing tendency toward phase separation in CPTEG-rich copolymers. These in vitro results screening polymer-drug interactions showed good agreement with in silico predictions from Hansen solubility parameter estimation and were able to explain the observed differences in model drug release trends.


This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in ACS Combinatorial Science, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see DOI: 10.1021/acscombsci.9b00162. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Chemical Society



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Published Version