Molecular hydrogels have big potential for local delivery and sustained release of therapeutic agents. In this paper, we reported on a molecular hydrogel mainly formed by the widely used anti-cancer drug of taxol. The hydrogel was formed by an ester bond hydrolysis process from a taxol derivative (Taxol-SA-GSSG, 1) and could be administrated into solid tumors to dramatically hinder their growths and prevent their metastasis. Besides the improved anti-cancer effect compared to the clinically used intravenous (i.v.) injection of Taxol®, the concentration of taxol in blood was low due to the local administration of taxol hydrogels, which greatly enhanced the dosage tolerance of mice to taxol and might reduce side effects of taxol during chemotherapy. Our observations suggested that the hydrogel mainly composed of taxol would have great potential for its practical applications.

This paper was originally published in Biomaterials (2012) 33, 5848–5853.

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