Hydrogels constructed of amphiphilically modified polysaccharides have attracted a lot of interest because of their potential to augment drug diffusion over the skin. This research describes the synthesis of amphiphilic alkylated pectin via glycidyl tert-butyl ether modification (alkylation degree 15.7%), which was characterized using spectroscopic and thermal analysis techniques and then formulated into hydrogels for the study of their potential in regulating fusidic acid diffusion topically. The hydrogels were formulated by the ionic interaction of negatively charged pectin and positively charged crosslinker CaCl2, with a reported fusidic acid loading degree of 93–95%. Hydrogels made of alkylated pectin showed a lower swelling percentage than that of native pectin, resulting in a slower fusidic acid release. The influence of pH on the swelling percentage and drug release was also investigated, with results revealing that greater pH enhanced swelling percentage and drug release. The in vitro interactions with HaCaT cells revealed negligible cytotoxicity under application-relevant settings. Utilizing Franz diffusion cells, the alkylated pectin hydrogels caused fusidic acid to penetrate the Strat-M® membrane at a 1.5-fold higher rate than the native pectin hydrogels. Overall, the in vitro results showed that alkylated pectin hydrogels have a lot of promise for topical distribution, which needs further investigation.

Reference URL