Rational design of wet spun monofilaments and multifilament yarns as controlled-release drug delivery systems for biomedical applications

D. Lavin1, L. Zhang1, R. Hopkins2, and E. Mathiowitz1

1Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912, USA; 2Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO, 64108, USA



This work investigates the use of wet spun polymeric fibers as hybrid devices, ones that perform a mechanical function and simultaneously delivery drugs. The functionality of wet spun fibers was evaluated by the release kinetics, mechanical properties, and handling capabilities. Dexamethasone (DXM), a potent antiinflammatory drug, was encapsulated into wet spun fibers by phase inversion and diverse release profiles were achieved by altering polymer spin dope concentration and composition. A ‘Z’ twisting methodology was developed to engineer single microfilaments into multifilament yarns, and the release of DXM was achieved for up to 56 days. Most importantly, DXM was encapsulated within wet spun filaments without compromising mechanical integrity. A five-fold increase in the average load bearing capacity of single, drug-free and drug-loaded filaments was achieved with the formation of 6-ply yarns.
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