Neighboring Group-Controlled Hydrolysis: Towards “Designer” Drug Release Biomaterials

Colin McCoy, R.J. Morrow, C.R. Edwards, D.S. Jones, Sean Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


To give the first demonstration of neighboring group-controlled drug delivery rates, a series of novel, polymerizable ester drug conjugates was synthesized and fully characterized. The monomers are suitable for copolymerization in biomaterials where control of drug release rate is critical to prophylaxis or obviation of infection. The incorporation of neighboring group moieties differing in nucleophilicity, geometry, and steric bulk in the conjugates allowed the rate of ester hydrolysis, and hence drug liberation, to be rationally and widely controlled. Solutions (2.5 x 10-5 mol dm-3) of ester conjugates of nalidixic acid incorporating pyridyl, amino, and phenyl neighboring groups hydrolyzed according to first-order kinetics, with rate constants between 3.00 ( 0.12 10-5 s -1 (fastest) and 4.50 ( 0.31 10- 6 s-1 (slowest). The hydrolysis was characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy. When copolymerized with poly(methyl methacrylate), free drug was shown to elute from the resulting materials, with the rate of release being controlled by the nature of the conjugate, as in solution. The controlled molecular architecture demonstrated by this system offers an attractive class of drug conjugate for the delivery of drugs from polymeric biomaterials such as bone cements in terms of both sustained, prolonged drug release and minimization of mechanical compromise as a result of release. We consider these results to be the rationale for the development of 'designer' drug release biomaterials, where the rate of required release can be controlled by predetermined molecular architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry


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