Porous implants or implantable scaffolds used for tissue regeneration can encourage tissue growth inside the implant and provide extended drug release. Water-soluble polymers incorporated into a biodegradable or inert implant matrix may leach out upon contact with biological fluids and thereby gradually increasing the porosity of the implant and simultaneously release drug from the implant matrix. Different molecular weight grades of methylcellulose (MC) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) were mixed with polylactide and extruded into model implants containing nitrofurantoin as a model drug. The effect of the leached pore formers on the implant porosity and the rheology of the implant microenvironment in vitro was investigated and it was shown that HPMC pore formers had the greatest effect on the surrounding viscosity, with higher drug release and pore forming ability as compared to the MC pore formers. The highest molecular weight HPMC led to the most significant increase in viscosity of the implant microenvironment, while the highest drug release was achieved with the lowest molecular weight HPMC. The data suggested that the microenvironmental rheology of the implant, both in the formed pores and in biological fluids in the immediate vicinity of the implant could be an important factor affecting the diffusion of the drug and other molecules in the implantation site.
- Porous implant/scaffold
- Hot melt extrusion
- Rheology of implant microenvironment
- Extended release
- Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose