Synthesis and Characterization of Sodium Alginate Hydrogels for Lymphatic Drug Delivery

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Lauren Sestito





Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 3-2023


Nanoparticle medicinal platforms have shown a great promise for lymphatic system drug delivery attributable to their high lymphatic uptake following local injection. However, the quick dissipation of drug-filled nanoparticles from the local injection site has posed a challenge for sustained drug delivery. To overcome this challenge, a controlled release platform for gradual release of nanoparticles is desired. Hydrogels are a promising alternative for such purpose because of their versatility, ease of drug loading, tunable properties, and range of biocompatible material options. Therefore, the objective of this work is to synthesize and characterize an injectable hydrogel capable of encapsulating nanoparticles and providing a sustained release over an extended period of time. Hydrogels were synthesized using sodium alginate and calcium chloride (CaCl2) cross-linker on the basis of sodium alginate’s controllable gelation rates and biocompatibility. Synthesis conditions including CaCl2 and sodium alginate concentrations were varied, while hydrogel properties including gelation time and degradation rate were evaluated. This research lays the foundation for future studies of nanoparticle encapsulation into and release from such hydrogels.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Kiefer Frank is a junior biomedical engineering student at Valparaiso University with a minor in chemistry. Hydrogels are his main area of research study as his interest favors drug delivery and drug engineering. He has been conducting research with Dr. Sestito since Fall 2022.

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