2019 PharmSci 360
Hydrogels are increasingly being used in pharmaceutical and device applications, as combination products or as drug release vehicles. In this case study, we describe the conception and design of a new, biodegradable hydrogel and outline its development as an injectable gel for retinal tamponade. We will discuss the unusual testing that might be required to support the application of such a soft solid-based device as an implantable device or a drug vehicle, including mechanical testing of the precursor/gel and chromatographic testing of the ingredients and by-products. We will also discuss isolation and quantitation of the degrading products from an in vivo model. The methods described for material selection, testing, and characterization can be extended to a number of applications that require a biodegradable, soft, solid-based device, including, but not limited to, scaffolds for tissue engineering, of cartilage/bone, cellular therapeutics, and drug delivery.