Abstract There is considerable interest in developing medical devices that provide controlled delivery of biologically active agents, for example, to reduce the incidence of device-related infection. Silicone elastomers are one of the commonest biomaterials used in medical device production. However, they have a relatively high coefficient of friction and the resulting lack of lubricity can cause pain and tissue damage on device insertion and removal. Novel silicone cross-linking agents have recently been reported that produce inherently ‘self-lubricating’ silicone elastomers with very low coefficients of friction. In this study, the model antibacterial drug metronidazole has been incorporated into these self-lubricating silicone elastomers to produce a novel bioactive biomaterial. The in vitro release characteristics of the bioactive component were evaluated as a function of cross-linker composition and drug loading. Although conventional matrix-type release kinetics were observed for metronidazole from the silicone systems, it was also observed that increasing the concentration of the cross-linking agent responsible for the lubricious character (tetra(oleyloxy)silane) relative to that of the standard non-lubricious cross-linking agent (tetrapropoxysilane) produced an increase in the metronidazole flux rate by up to 65% for a specified drug loading. The results highlight the potential for developing lubricious silicone medical devices with enhanced drug release characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science