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Keywords:

  • biocompatibility;
  • drug delivery systems;
  • hydrogels;
  • mechanical properties;
  • stimuli-sensitive polymers

Abstract

The composites of pH-responsive poly(vinyl alcohol)/poly(acrylic acid) hydrogel and activated carbon fibers (ACFs) were prepared as sustained drug release system with excellent mechanical properties. The mechanical properties of hydrogels were improved greatly by addition of ACFs. The thinner ACFs were more effective in increasing the mechanical properties of composite hydrogels. The cumulative amount of release and the release period were dependent on the surface area and the pore volume of ACFs. The drug release was maximized at basic condition due to the pH-sensitive hydrogel matrices and the initial bust phenomenon was alleviated by incorporating ACFs in the hydrogels. The drug release was sustained about four times longer and the mechanical property was increased about 2.6 times higher because ACFs worked as drug reservoir and reinforcement. Cytotoxicity evaluation confirmed the biocompatible characteristics of the ACFs-containing hydrogels. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011