DOI: 10.3390/polym15173631 ISSN:

Sulfonated Polyether Ketone Membranes Embedded with Nalidixic Acid—An Emerging Controlled Drug Releaser

Himabindu Padinjarathil, Vidya Vilasini, Rajalakshmi Balasubramanian, Carmelo Drago, Sandro Dattilo, Prasanna Ramani
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Chemistry

The effective administration of medication has advanced over decades, but the medical community still faces significant demand. Burst release and inadequate assimilation are major drawbacks that affect wound healing efficiency, leading to therapy failure. The widespread application of polymers in biomedical research is significant. The polyether ether ketone (PEEK) family is known for its biocompatibility, inertness, and semi-crystalline thermoplastic properties. In our present studies, we have chosen a member of this family, polyether ketone (PEK), to explore its role as a drug carrier. The PEK backbone was subjected to sulfonation to increase its hydrophilicity. The response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the sulfonation process based on the time, degree of sulfonation, and temperature. The PEK polymer was sulfonated using sulfuric acid at 150 °C for 6 h; back titration was performed to quantify the degree of sulfonation, with 69% representing the maximum sulfonation. SPEK and nalidixic sodium salt were dissolved in dichloroacetic acid to create a thin membrane. The physiological and morphological properties were assessed for the SPEK membrane. The studies on drug release in distilled water and a simulated body fluid over the course of 24 h revealed a controlled, gradual increase in the release rate, correlating with a mathematical model and demonstrating the zero-order nature of the drug release. Hemolysis on the SPEK membrane revealed lower toxicity. The SPEK membrane’s biocompatibility was established using in vitro cytotoxicity tests on the Vero (IC50: 137.85 g/mL) cell lines. These results confirm that the SPEK membranes are suitable for sustained drug release.

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