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PublicationPolymer - Xerogel Composites for Controlled Release Wound Dressings(2010-08-01) Qu, Haibo; Costache, Marius C; Ducheyne, Paul; Devore, DavidMany polymers and composites have been used to prepare active wound dressings. These materials have typically exhibited potentially toxic burst release of the drugs within the first few hours followed by a much slower, potentially ineffective drug release rate thereafter. Many of these materials also degraded to produce inflammatory and cytotoxic products. To overcome these limitations, composite active wound dressings were prepared here from two fully biodegradable and tissue compatible components, silicon oxide sol–gel (xerogel) microparticles that were embedded in tyrosine-poly(ethylene glycol)-derived poly(ether carbonate) copolymer matrices. Sustained, controlled release of drugs from these composites was demonstrated in vitro using bupivacaine and mepivacaine, two water-soluble local anesthetics commonly used in clinical applications. By systematically varying independent compositional parameters of the composites, including the hydrophilic:hydrophobic balance of the tyrosine-derived monomers and poly(ethylene glycol) in the copolymers and the porosity, weight ratio and drug content of the xerogels, drug release kinetics approaching zero-order were obtained. Composites with xerogel mass fractions up to 75% and drug payloads as high as 13% by weight in the final material were fabricated without compromising the physical integrity or the controlled release kinetics. The copolymer–xerogel composites thus provided a unique solution for the sustained delivery of therapeutic agents from tissue compatible wound dressings.