In this study we formed and characterized dynamic hydrogel microspheres in which a protein conformational change was used to control microsphere volume changes and the release of an encapsulated drug. In particular, a specific biochemical ligand, trifluoperazine, induced calmodulin's nanometer scale conformation change, which translated to a 48.7% microsphere volume decrease. This specific, ligand-induced volume change triggered the release of a model drug, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), at pre-determined times. After release from the microspheres, 85.6 Â+- 1.5% of VEGF was in its native conformation. Taken together, these results suggest that protein conformational change could serve as a useful mechanism to control drug release from dynamic hydrogels.
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