Designing of drug imprinted polymeric microcryogels for controlled release of Darunavir

Şafak İ., ÇALIŞIR M., Bakhshpour-Yucel M., SAĞLAM N., DENİZLİ A.

Chemical Papers, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11696-024-03371-z
  • Journal Name: Chemical Papers
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Chemical Abstracts Core
  • Keywords: Antiretroviral drug, Controlled drug release systems, DRV, HIV, pHEMA-based microcryogels
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Darunavir (DRV) is a crucial antiretroviral drug specifically developed for treating infections that require prolonged treatment. It has gained significant recognition as one of the top choices for combating AIDS, a condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. Biopolymeric materials like microcryogels become the center of attention in most research areas such as controlled release systems. These systems offer the advantage of precise drug administration, ensuring effective therapeutic outcomes through the delivery of specific drug doses. Microcryogels, characterized by their super macroporous, elastic, and spongy morphology, have emerged as a focal point in biomedical applications, particularly when combined with molecularly imprinted polymers. In this study, the controlled release and kinetics studies of the DRV were investigated with the DRV-imprinted poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA)-based microcryogels. Darunavir imprinted pHEMA microcryogels with different cross-linker ratios and different loaded drugs were prepared for studies of in vitro release of DRV; scanning electron microscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy methods have been considered suitable for the characterization of cryogels that have been designed and whose sensitivity has been enhanced by molecular imprinting. Cytotoxicity of DRV-imprinted microcryogels was also inspected using mouse fibroblast cell line L929. The comprehensive analysis results underscore the potential of these meticulously designed microcryogels, showcasing their utility in medical applications. Notably, these microcryogels exhibited controlled drug release, with efficiency levels of up to 85% and sustained release duration of 40 h, positioning them as a valuable option for advanced drug delivery systems in the medical field.