Development of a Supramolecular Hydrogel for Intraperitoneal Injections

Anne G. W. E. Wintjens, Peter-Paul K. H. Fransen, Kaatje Lenaerts, Hong Liu, Geert C. van Almen, Sebastiaan van Steensel, Marion J. Gijbels, Ignace H. J. T. de Hingh, Patricia Y. W. Dankers, Nicole D. Bouvy

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Local intraperitoneal drug administration is considered a challenging drug delivery route. The therapeutic efficiency is low, mainly due to rapid clearance of drugs. To increase the intraperitoneal retention time of specific drugs, a pH-sensitive supramolecular hydrogel that can act as a drug delivery vehicle is developed. To establish the optimal formulation of the hydrogel and to study its feasibility, safety, and tissue compatibility, in vitro, postmortem, and in vivo experiments are performed. In vitro tests reveal that a hydrogelator formulation with pH ≥ 9 results in a constant viscosity of 0.1 Pa·s. After administration postmortem, the hydrogel covers the parietal and visceral peritoneum with a thin, soft layer. In the subsequent in vivo experiments, 14 healthy rats are subjected to intraperitoneal injection with the hydrogel. Fourteen and 28 days after implantation, the animals are euthanized. Intraperitoneal exposure to the hydrogel is not resulted in significant weight loss or discomfort. Moreover, no macroscopic adverse effects or signs of organ damage are detected. In several intra-abdominal tissues, vacuolated macrophages are found indicating a physiological degradation of the synthetic hydrogel. This study demonstrates that the supramolecular hydrogel is safe for intraperitoneal application and that the hydrogel shows good tissue compatibility in rats.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2300005
JournalMacromolecular bioscience
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • animal model
  • development
  • in vivo safety
  • intraperitoneal delivery
  • peritoneal cavity
  • supramolecular hydrogel

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