In vitro and in vivo evaluation of gelatin-chondroitin sulphate hydrogels for controlled release of antibacterial proteins

A.J. Kuijpers, P.B. van Wachem, M.J.A. van Luyn, L.A. Brouwer, G.H.M. Engbers, J. Krijgsveld, S.A.J. Zaat, J. Dankert, Jan Feijen

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Chemically cross-linked gelatin–chondroitin sulphate (ChS) hydrogels, impregnated in Dacron, were evaluated as drug delivery systems for antibacterial proteins. The gelatin–chondroitin sulphate gels, plain or impregnated in Dacron, were cross-linked with a water-soluble carbodiimide (EDC) and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS). The release of lysozyme and recombinant thrombocidin (rTC-1), an antibacterial protein derived from human blood platelets, from the gelatin–ChS gels in Dacron in phosphate-buffered saline at 37°C was determined, and compared to the release from gelatin gels in Dacron and plain gelatin–ChS gels. The incorporation of chondroitin sulphate into gelatin gels, caused a marked increase in lysozyme loading capacity, and a slower release rate. The relative release profiles for rTC-1 and lysozyme were equal for cross-linked gelatin as well as for cross-linked gelatin–ChS gels. Furthermore, rTC-1 showed no loss of antibacterial activity after 1 week of release. The lysozyme concentration profiles in the samples and in the surrounding medium as a function of time were calculated using mathematical solutions for Ficks second law of diffusion for a semi-infinite composite medium, which is a schematic representation of a slab in a surrounding medium. The biocompatibility and degradation of the Dacron matrices impregnated with gelatin–ChS gels was studied after implantation in subcutaneous pockets in rats. Chemically cross-linked gelatin–ChS gels showed a mild tissue reaction, and almost complete degradation within 18 weeks of implantation.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1763-1772
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • METIS-106580
  • Cross-linking
  • Biodegradation
  • Chondroitin sulphate
  • IR-74303
  • Tissue reaction
  • Drug delivery
  • Gelatin

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