(19)
(11)EP 2 601 939 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 12178044.9

(22)Date of filing:  09.09.2004
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61K 9/70(2006.01)
A61Q 11/00(2006.01)
A61K 8/42(2006.01)
A61L 15/60(2006.01)
A61K 9/14(2006.01)
A61K 8/86(2006.01)
A61K 8/22(2006.01)
A61L 15/64(2006.01)

(54)

Hydrogel compositions with an erodible backing member

Hydrogel-Zusammensetzungen mit einem erodierbaren Element

Compositions d'hydrogel contenant un support degradable


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LI LU MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 12.09.2003 US 661103

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.06.2013 Bulletin 2013/24

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
04783729.9 / 1667667

(73)Proprietors:
  • Corium, Inc.
    Menlo Park, CA 94025 (US)
  • A. V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis
    Moscow, 117912 (RU)

(72)Inventors:
  • Singh, Parminder
    Union City, California 94587 (US)
  • Faasse, Adrian
    Carmel Valley, California 93924 (US)
  • Cleary, Gary W.
    Los Altos Hills, California 94022 (US)
  • Mudumba, Sri
    Union City, California 94587 (US)
  • Feldstein, Mikhail
    Moscow 119415 (RU)
  • Bairamov, Danir F.
    Sunnyvale, California 94086 (US)

(74)Representative: D Young & Co LLP 
120 Holborn
London EC1N 2DY
London EC1N 2DY (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A-01/68045
US-A- 4 904 247
WO-A2-03/015748
US-A1- 2003 152 528
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] This invention relates generally to hydrogel compositions. More particularly the invention relates to hydrogel compositions useful as wound dressings and for administering a wide variety of active agents to mucosal tissue such as the mouth, including tooth whiteners.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] Discoloration of the teeth occurs widely in society, and is estimated to occur in two out of three adults. Dental discoloration is considered an aesthetic flaw or defect, and can have negative consequences in an affected person's life by causing self-consciousness, and even inhibiting smiling. Tooth discoloration can be particularly distressing or troublesome in situations and professions where showing clean and white teeth is essential.

    [0003] A tooth is comprised of an inner dentin layer and an outer hard enamel layer that is slightly porous. The outer layer is the protective layer of the tooth. The natural color of the tooth is opaque to translucent white or slightly off-white. Staining of teeth arises as a result of exposure of compounds such as tannins and other polyphenolic compounds to the teeth. These compounds become trapped or bound to the proteinaceous layer on the surface of teeth, and can penetrate the enamel and even the dentin. On occasion, staining can arise from sources within the tooth, such as tetracycline, which may become deposited in the teeth if administered to an individual when young.

    [0004] Surface staining can usually be removed by mechanical tooth cleaning. However, discolored enamel or dentin is not amenable to mechanical methods of tooth cleaning, and chemical methods, which can penetrate into the tooth structure, are required to remove the stains. The most effective treatments for dental discoloration are compositions containing an oxidizing agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, that is capable of reacting with the chromogen molecules responsible for the discoloration, and rendering them either colorless or water-soluble, or both.

    [0005] Consequently, tooth whitening compositions generally fall into two categories: (1) gels, pastes, or liquids, including toothpastes that are mechanically agitated at the stained tooth surface in order to affect tooth stain removal through abrasive erosion of surface stains; and (2) gels, pastes, or liquids that accomplish a tooth-bleaching effect by a chemical process while in contact with the stained tooth surface for a specified period, after which the formulation is removed. In some cases, an auxiliary chemical process, which may be oxidative or enzymatic, supplements the mechanical process.

    [0006] Some dental compositions such as dentrifices, toothpastes, gels, and powders contain active oxygen or hydrogen peroxide liberating bleaching agents. Such bleaching agents include peroxides, percarbonates and perborates of the alkali and alkaline earth metals or complex compounds containing hydrogen peroxide. Also, peroxide salts of the alkali or alkaline earth metals are known to be useful in whitening teeth.

    [0007] Of the many peroxides available to the formulator of tooth whitening compositions, hydrogen peroxide (and its adducts or association complexes, such as carbamide peroxide and sodium percarbonate) has been used almost exclusively. The chemistry of hydrogen peroxide is well known, although the specific nature of its interactions with tooth chromogens is poorly understood. It is believed that hydrogen peroxide destroys tooth chromogens by oxidizing unsaturated carbon-carbon, carbon-oxygen, and carbonnitrogen bonds found in the stain molecules, thus rendering them colorless or soluble.

    [0008] A related class of compound, the peroxyacids, has been used in laundry detergents to effectively whiten clothes, due primarily to their stability in solution and their specific binding abilities to certain types of stain molecules. A number of stable, solid peroxyacids have been used, including diperoxydodecanoic acid and the magnesium salt of monoperoxyphthalic acid. Other peroxyacids, such as peroxyacetic acid, are available as solutions containing an equilibrium distribution of acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid and water. Alternatively, a peroxide donor such as sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate is formulated together with a peroxyacid precursor. Upon contact with water, the peroxide donor releases hydrogen peroxide which then reacts with the peroxyacid precursor to form the actual peroxyacid. Examples of peroxyacids created in situ include peroxyacetic acid (from hydrogen peroxide and tetraacetylethylenediamine) and peroxynonanoic acid (from hydrogen peroxide and nonanoyloxybenzene sulfonate).

    [0009] Peroxyacids have also been used in oral care compositions to whiten stained teeth. U.S. Patent No. 5,279,816 to Church et al. describes a method of whitening teeth comprising the application of a peroxyacetic acid-containing composition having an acid pH. EP 545,594 A1 to Church et al. describes the use of peroxyacetic acid in preparing a composition for whitening teeth. The peroxyacetic acid may be present in the composition, or alternatively, may be generated in situ by combining a peroxide source with a peroxyacetic acid precursor during use. For example, U.S. Patent No. 5,302,375 to Viscio describes a composition that generates peroxyacetic acid within a vehicle in situ by combining water, acetylsalicylic acid and a water-soluble alkali metal percarbonate.

    [0010] The most commonly used dental whitening agent is carbamide peroxide (CO(NH2)2 H2O2), also called urea hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen peroxide carbamide, and perhydrol-urea. Carbamide peroxide had been used by dental clinicians for several decades as an oral antiseptic, and tooth bleaching was an observed side effect of extended contact time. Over-the-counter compositions of 10% carbamide peroxide are available as GLY-OXIDE® by Marion Laboratories and PROXIGEL® by Reed and Carnrick, which are low-viscosity compositions that must be held in a tray or similar container in order to provide contact with the teeth. A bleaching gel which is able to hold a comfortable-fitting dental tray in position for an extended time period is available under the trademark OPALESCENCE® from Ultradent Products, Inc., in South Jordan, Utah.

    [0011] In order for such compositions to stay in place, the compositions must be a viscous liquid or a gel. The use of dental trays also requires that the tray be adapted for comfort and fit so that the tray will not exert pressure or cause irritation to the person's teeth or gums. Such whitening compositions necessarily should be formulated so as to be sufficiently sticky and viscous to resist dilution by saliva.

    [0012] In one method of whitening an individual's teeth, a dental professional will construct a custom made dental bleaching tray for the patient from an impression made of the patient's dentition and prescribe the use of an oxidizing gel to be dispensed into the bleaching tray and worn intermittently for a period of from about 2 weeks to about 6 months, depending upon the severity of tooth staining. These oxidizing compositions, usually packaged in small plastic syringes or tubes, are dispensed directly by the patient into the custom-made tooth-bleaching tray, held in place in the mouth for contact times of greater than about 60 minutes, and sometimes as long as 8 to 12 hours. The slow rate of bleaching is in large part the consequence of the very nature of formulations that are developed to maintain stability of the oxidizing composition.

    [0013] For example, U.S. Patent No. 6,368,576 to Jensen describes tooth whitening compositions that are preferably used with a tray so that the composition is held in position adjacent to the person's tooth surfaces to be treated. These compositions are described as a sticky matrix material formed by combining a sufficient quantity of a tackifying agent, such as carboxypolymethylene, with a solvent, such as glycerin, polyethylene glycol, or water.

    [0014] In another example, U.S. Patent No. 5,718,886 to Pellico describes a tooth whitening composition in the form of a gel composition containing carbamide peroxide dispersed in an anhydrous gelatinous carrier, which includes a polyol, a thickener, and xanthan gum.

    [0015] Yet another example is described in U.S. Patent No. 6,419,905 to Hernandez, which describes the use of compositions containing carbamide peroxide (0.3-60%), xylitol (0.5-50%), a potassium salt (0.001-10%) and a fluorine salt (0.15-3%), formulated into a gel that contains between 0.5 and 6% by weight of an appropriate gelling agent.

    [0016] A tooth whitening composition that adheres to the teeth is described in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,989,569 and 6,045,811 to Dirksing. According to these patents, the gel contains 30-85% glycerin or polyethylene glycol, 10-22% urea/hydrogen peroxide complex, 0-12% carboxypolymethylene, 0-1% sodium hydroxide, 0-100% triethanolamine (TEA), 0-40% water, 0-1% flavor, 0-15% sodium citrate, and 0-5% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. The preferred gel according to Dirksing has a viscosity between 200 and 1,000,000 cps at low shear rates (less than one 1/seconds), and is sufficiently adhesive so as to obviate the need for a tray.

    [0017] Currently available tooth-bleaching compositions have a significant disadvantage in that they cause tooth sensitization in over 50% of patients. Tooth sensitivity may result from the movement of fluid through the dentinal tubules, which is sensed by nerve endings in the tooth, due to the presence of glycerin, propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol in these compositions. This can result in varying amounts of tooth sensitivity following exposure of the teeth to heat, cold, overly sweet substances, and other causative agents.

    [0018] Prolonged exposure of teeth to bleaching compositions, as practiced at present, has a number of adverse effects in addition to that of tooth sensitivity. These adverse effects include leaching of calcium from the enamel layer at a pH less than 5.5; penetration of the intact enamel and dentin by the bleaching agents and risking damage to pulpal tissue; and dilution of the bleaching compositions with saliva resulting in leaching from the dental tray and subsequent ingestion by the user.

    [0019] Some oxidizing compositions (generally having relatively high concentrations of oxidizers) are applied directly to the tooth surface of a patient in a dental office setting under the supervision of a dentist or dental hygienist. Theoretically, such tooth whitening strategies yield faster results and better overall patient satisfaction. However, due to the high concentration of oxidizing agents contained in these so called "in-office" compositions, they can be hazardous to the patient and practitioner alike if not handled with care. The patient's soft tissues (the gingiva, lips, and other mucosal surfaces) must first be isolated from potential exposure to the active oxidizing agent by the use of a perforated rubber sheet (known as a rubber dam), so that only the teeth protrude. Alternatively, the soft tissue may be isolated from the oxidizers to be used in the whitening process by covering the soft tissue with a polymerizable composition that is shaped to conform to the gingival contours and subsequently cured by exposure to a high intensity light source. Once the soft tissue has been isolated and protected, the practitioner may apply the oxidizing agent directly onto the stained tooth surfaces for a specified period of time or until a sufficient change in tooth color has occurred. Typical results obtained through the use of an in-office tooth whitener, range from about 2 to 3 shades (as measured with the VITA Shade Guide, VITA Zahnfarbik).

    [0020] The range of tooth shades in the VITA Shade Guide varies from very light (B1) to very dark (C4). A total of 16 tooth shades constitute the entire range of colors between these two endpoints on a scale of brightness. Patient satisfaction with a tooth whitening procedure increases with the number of tooth shade changes achieved, with a generally accepted minimum change desirable of about 4 to 5 VITA shades.

    [0021] It is desirable, with respect to dental care products for tooth whitening, to provide dental care products utilizing an adhesive hydrogel that includes a whitening agent for removing stains from an individual's teeth. In addition, there is a constant need for the development of products to provide a protective dressing for mucosal surfaces or to provide delivery of active agents, for example transmucosal delivery of agents to mucosal tissue, tooth surface, gums, mucous membranes and other oral tissue. Compositions are desired that do not require the use of dental trays to provide contact between the active agent and the teeth or other oral surface. Such products ideally would cause minimal or no tooth sensitivity, would minimize or eliminate leakage of the active agent resulting in ingestion by the user or resulting in damage or irritation to the gums or mucous membranes of the mouth, would provide for longer wear duration, sustained dissolution of the active agent, improved efficacy, and be well tolerated by patients. It would also be desirable to provide a dental care product that is a solid composition and self-adhesive but which does not stick to the fingers of the user, or that is a non-solid (e.g., liquid or gel) and which forms a film when dry. Finally, current dental care products require that the system be worn for a specified length of time, e.g., 30 minutes, before being removed by the user. It is desirable to develop products which can self-erode after the active has been released or the desired therapeutic or cosmetic effect has been achieved, since such systems would improve patient compliance. The instant invention addresses these needs.

    [0022] US 2003/0152528 discloses a composition comprising a water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, a blend of a hydrophilic polymer and a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen bonding or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer, and a whitening agent. US 2003/0152528 does not, however, disclose a hydrogel composition together with a backing member according to the instant invention, i.e. an erodible backing member which enables the products to self-erode and thereby improve patient compliance.

    DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION



    [0023] One aspect of the invention relates to a hydrogel composition as defined in the appended claims. The hydrogel composition comprises a water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, a blend of a hydrophilic polymer with a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen bonding or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer, and an active agent which is selected from the group consisting of a whitening agent, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or analgesic agent, a steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, a local anesthetic, a bactericide or disinfectant, an antibiotic, an antifungal, a tooth desensitizing agent, a fluoride anticavity or antidecay agent, an anti-tartar or anti-calculus agent, an enzyme which inhibits the formation of plaque, a calculus or dental caries agent, an abrasive agent, a metal chelator, an anti-oxidant, a nutritional supplement for local delivery to the teeth and surrounding tissue and a cosmetically active agent which is breath freshener or an agent which effects whitening or bleaching of the teeth. The composition further comprises a backing member which is comprised of a polymer composition that erodes in a moist environment at a slower rate than the hydrogel; specifically the hydrogel erodes in 1 second to 24 hours after placement in a moist environment. The water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer and the backing member are comprised of acrylate polymers, and the backing member acrylate polymer has a lower solubility than the water-swellable, water-insoluble acrylate polymer. The hydrogel can be solid and attached to the backing member prior to use. The hydrogel can also be a non-solid and attached to the backing member during use.

    [0024] In a preferred embodiment, the hydrophilic polymer is selected from poly(N-vinyl lactams), poly(N-vinyl amides), poly(N-alkylacrylamides), polyacrylic acids, polymethacrylic acids, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylamine, and copolymers and blends thereof.

    [0025] In another preferred embodiment the complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer is selected from polyhydric alcohols, monomeric and oligomeric alkylene glycols, polyalkylene glycols, carboxyl-terminated polyalkylene glycols, amino-terminated polyalkylene glycols, ether alcohols, alkane diols and carbonic diacids. A preferred active agent is a whitening agent selected from the group consisting of peroxides, metal chlorites, perborates, percarbonates, peroxyacids, and combinations thereof.

    [0026] The composition optionally comprises a low molecular weight plasticizer, and may also comprise at least one additive selected from the group consisting of fillers, preservatives, pH regulators, softeners, thickeners, colorants (e.g., pigments, dyes, refractive particles, etc.), flavorants (e.g., sweeteners, flavors), stabilizers, surfactants, toughening agents and detackifiers.

    [0027] In a preferred method of using the composition, the composition is a tooth whitening composition because the active agent is a whitening agent selected from the group consisting of peroxides, metal chlorites, perborates, percarbonates, peroxyacids, and combinations thereof, and is applied to the teeth in need of whitening, and then removed when the degree of whitening has been achieved. In certain embodiments, the tooth whitening composition is translucent, and the composition is removed when the user is satisfied with the degree of whitening achieved.

    [0028] The adhesive compositions of the invention provide a number of significant advantages relative to the prior art. In particular, the present compositions provide one or more of the following advantages over the art:
    1. (1) provide ease of handling;
    2. (2) are readily modified during manufacture so that properties such as adhesion, absorption, translucence, and swelling can be controlled and optimized;
    3. (3) can be formulated so that tack increases or decreases in the presence of moisture so that the composition is not sticky until moistened;
    4. (4) minimize leakage of the active agent, when included, from the composition onto a mucosal surface (e.g., into the user's mouth);
    5. (5) can be fabricated in translucent from, enabling the user to view the extent of whitening without removing the hydrogel composition from the teeth or mucosal surface;
    6. (6) minimize damage to gums or mucous membranes in the mouth;
    7. (7) can be worn comfortably and unobtrusively;
    8. (8) are easily removed from the teeth or mucosal surface, and leave no residue;
    9. (9) are amenable to extended duration of wear or action;
    10. (10) can provide sustained and controlled release of a variety of active agents;
    11. (11) can be formulated to erode after predetermined time; and
    12. (12) can be formulated to deliver active agents uni-directionally, e.g., only towards the mucosal tissue, or bi-directionally, e.g., towards the mucosal surface as well as towards the oral cavity, and the relative rates of delivery towards the mucosal surface and the oral cavity are controlled by selecting a backing member having a predetermined permeability.

    MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION


    I. DEFINITIONS AND NOMENCLATURE



    [0029] Before describing the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that unless otherwise indicated this invention is not limited to specific hydrogel materials or manufacturing processes, as such may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting. It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a hydrophilic polymer" includes not only a single hydrophilic polymer but also a combination or mixture of two or more different hydrophilic polymers, reference to "a plasticizer" includes a combination or mixture of two or more different plasticizers as well as a single plasticizer.

    [0030] In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below.

    [0031] The definitions of "hydrophobic" and "hydrophilic" polymers are based on the amount of water vapor absorbed by polymers at 100 % relative humidity. According to this classification, hydrophobic polymers absorb only up to 1 wt% water at 100% relative humidity ("rh"), while moderately hydrophilic polymers absorb 1-10 % wt% water, hydrophilic polymers are capable of absorbing more than 10 wt% of water, and hygroscopic polymers absorb more than 20 wt% of water. A "water-swellable" polymer is one that absorbs an amount of water greater than at least 25 wt% of its own weight, and preferably at least 50 wt% of its own weight, upon immersion in an aqueous medium.

    [0032] The term "crosslinked" herein refers to a composition containing intramolecular and/or intermolecular crosslinks, whether arising through covalent or noncovalent bonding. "Noncovalent" bonding includes both hydrogen bonding and electrostatic (ionic) bonding.

    [0033] The term "polymer" includes linear and branched polymer structures, and also encompasses crosslinked polymers as well as copolymers (which may or may not be crosslinked), thus including block copolymers, alternating copolymers, random copolymers, and the like. Those compounds referred to herein as "oligomers" are polymers having a molecular weight below about 1000 Da, preferably below about 800 Da.

    [0034] The term "hydrogel" is used in the conventional sense to refer to water-swellable polymeric matrices that can absorb a substantial amount of water to form elastic gels, wherein "matrices" are three-dimensional networks of macromolecules held together by covalent or noncovalent crosslinks. Upon placement in an aqueous environment, dry hydrogels swell to the extent allowed by the degree of cross-linking. Hydrogels are also erodible.

    [0035] The term "erodes" as in "the hydrogel erodes" or "erodible" as in "an erodible backing member" is intended to include the processes of erosion, dissolution, disintegration, and degradation, as well as to include those materials that are often referred to as being bioerodible or biodegradable. Irrespective of the mechanism by which the hydrogel and backing member dissipate in a moist environment, the components of the backing member are preferably selected so that the backing member "erodes" at a slower rate than the hydrogel components.

    [0036] The terms "active agent," "pharmacologically active agent" and "drug" are used interchangeably herein to refer to a chemical material or compound that induces a desired pharmacological, physiological effect, and include agents that are therapeutically effective, prophylactically effective, or cosmeceutically effective. The terms also encompass pharmaceutically acceptable, pharmacologically active derivatives and analogs of those active agents specifically mentioned herein, including, but not limited to, salts, esters, amides, prodrugs, active metabolites, inclusion complexes, and analogs. When the terms "active agent," "pharmacologically active agent" and "drug" are used, it is to be understood that both the active agent per se as well as pharmaceutically acceptable, pharmacologically active salts, esters, amides, prodrugs, active metabolites, inclusion complexes, and analogs, are included.

    [0037] The term "tooth whitening composition" refers to a composition that contains a hydrogel, as defined herein, and a whitening agent.

    [0038] The term "whitening agent" typically refers to an oxidizing agent such as a peroxide or a chlorite, as will be discussed in greater detail below. In some instances, the whitening agent may be an enzyme or other catalytic means for removing a stain from the teeth. The whitening agent may include one or more additional whitening agents, surfactants, antiplaque agents, antitartar agents and abrasive agents. The whitening agent may have additional therapeutic benefits.

    [0039] The term "effective amount" or "a cosmeceutically effective amount" of a cosmeceutically active agent is meant a nontoxic but sufficient amount of a cosmeceutically active agent to provide the desired cosmetic effect. The term "effective amount" or "a therapeutically effective amount" of a drug or pharmacologically active agent is intended to mean a nontoxic but sufficient amount of the drug or agent to provide the desired therapeutic effect. The amount that is "effective" will vary from subject to subject, depending on the age and general condition of the individual, and the particular active agent or agents. Thus, it is not always possible to specify an exact "effective amount." However, an appropriate "effective" amount in any individual case may be determined by one of ordinary skill in the art using routine experimentation. Furthermore, the exact "effective" amount of an active agent incorporated into a composition or dosage form of the invention is not critical, so long as the concentration is within a range sufficient to permit ready application of the formulation so as to deliver an amount of the active agent that is within a therapeutically effective range.

    [0040] The term "surface" as in "oral cavity" surface or "body surface" is intended to include mucosal body surfaces (e.g., sublingual, buccal, vaginal, rectal, urethral), as well as surfaces in and around the oral cavity (e.g., teeth, lips, gums, mucous membranes). These surfaces are typically located in what is referred to herein as a "moist" environment.

    [0041] "Transmucosal" drug delivery is meant administration of a drug to the mucosal tissue surface of an individual so that the drug passes through the mucosal tissue (e.g., sublingual, buccal, vaginal, rectal, urethral) and into the individual's blood stream, thereby providing a systemic effect. The term "transmucosal" is intended to cover both local and systemic effects, and therefore includes topical administration, i.e., delivery of a topical agent to the mucosa, as in, for example, the treatment of various mucosal tissue disorders to provide a local effect.

    [0042] The terms "tack" and "tacky" are qualitative. However, the terms "substantially nontacky" "slightly tacky" and "tacky," as used herein, may be quantified using the values obtained in a PKI or TRBT tack determination method, as follows. By "substantially nontacky" is meant a hydrogel composition that has a tack value that is less than about 25 g-cm/sec, by "slightly tacky" is meant a hydrogel composition that has a tack value in the range of about 25 g-cm/sec to about 100 g-cm/sec, and by "tack" is meant a hydrogel composition that has a tack value of at least 100 g-cm/sec.

    [0043] The term "water-insoluble" refers to a compound or composition whose solubility in water is less than 5 wt%, preferably less than 3 wt%, more preferably less than 1 wt% (measured in water at 20°C).

    [0044] The term "translucent" is used herein to signify a material capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen through the material. Translucent materials herein may or may not be "transparent," meaning that the material is optically clear. The term "translucent" indicates that a material is not "opaque," in which case objects and images cannot be seen through the material.

    II. HYDROGEL COMPOSITIONS



    [0045] The composition of the invention is a single phase hydrogel comprised of a water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, and a blend of a hydrophilic polymer with a complementary oligomer, and an active agent. Both the water-swellable, water insoluble polymer and the oligomer may be capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer.

    [0046] The composition also includes a backing member comprised of a polymer composition that erodes in the moist environment at a slower rate than the hydrogel.

    [0047] The water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, i.e., a polymer that is capable of swelling when immersed in an aqueous liquid but that is insoluble in water within a selected pH range (generally less than pH 5.5), is comprised of an acrylate polymer. The term "acrylate polymer" is intended to include acrylate and acrylate-based polymers and copolymers, and is an acrylic acid or acrylic acid ester polymer. The polymer generally swells by at least 25 wt%, and preferably by at least 50 wt% of its own weight when immersed in water or aqueous solution. In some embodiments utilizing certain hydrophilic polymers, the composition may swell by as much as 1400 wt% of its dry weight.

    [0048] In one embodiment, the composition is a tooth whitening composition, where the whitening agent functions to whiten the tooth surface to which the composition is applied. However, the whitening agent may have other utilities, for example as a therapeutic agent or other type of cosmeceutical agent, e.g., for skin lightening. Therefore, the compositions described herein may find utility as pharmaceutical compositions to be applied to a body surface (e.g., teeth, nails, skin, mucosa, etc.) for the treatment of a disease state. For example, hydrogen peroxide also has antibiotic and anti-acne properties, as well as being a whitening agent. Therefore, the invention also contemplates treating an infection or acne by applying a hydrogen peroxide-containing composition of the invention to a body surface. Other diseases states include, by way of illustration and not limitation, fungal infections, acne, wounds, skin lightening, and so forth. In addition, a number of active agents can be incorporated in the composition of the invention to treat a variety of diseases that affect the oral cavity.

    A. WATER-SWELLABLE, WATER-INSOLUBLE POLYMERS



    [0049] For solid compositions, the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer represents about 1-20 wt%, preferably about 6-12 wt% of the composition; the hydrophilic polymer represents about 20-80 wt%, preferably about 40-60 wt% of the composition; the complementary oligomer represents about 10-50 wt%, preferably about 15-35 wt% of the composition; and the active agent represents about 0.1-6 0 wt%, preferably about 1-30 wt% of the composition. Optimally, the complementary oligomer represents about 10-80 wt%, preferably about 20-50 wt% of the hydrophilic polymer/complementary oligomer blend.

    [0050] For non-solid compositions, the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer represents about 0.1-20 wt%, preferably about 2-6 wt% of the composition; the hydrophilic polymer represents about 1-40 wt%, preferably about 4-10 wt% of the composition; the complementary oligomer represents about 0.1-20 wt%, preferably about 0.5-10 wt% of the composition; and the active agent represents about 0.1-60 wt%, preferably about 1-40 wt% of the composition. Optimally, the complementary oligomer represents about 1-85 wt%, preferably about 5-50 wt% of the hydrophilic polymer/complementary oligomer blend.

    [0051] The adhesion profile can be tailored based on type of polymer, the composition ratio and the extent of water in the blend. The water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer is selected so as to provide the desired adhesion profile with respect to hydration. As the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer is an acrylate polymer or copolymer, a composition is provided that is generally substantially nontacky prior to contact with water, but becomes tacky upon contact with a moist surface.

    [0052] The water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer is capable of at least some degree of swelling when immersed in an aqueous liquid but is insoluble in water. The hydrophilic polymer may function to help solubilize the water-insoluble polymer.

    [0053] The water-swellable polymer is comprised of an acrylate polymer, generally formed from acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, methyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate, ethyl methacrylate, and/or other vinyl monomers. Suitable acrylate polymers are those copolymers available under the tradename "Eudragit" from Rohm Pharma (Germany). The Eudragit® series E, L, S, RL, RS and NE copolymers are available solubilized in organic solvent, in an aqueous dispersion, or as a dry powder. Preferred acrylate polymers are copolymers of methacrylic acid and methyl methacrylate, such as the Eudragit L and Eudragit S series polymers. Particularly preferred such copolymers are Eudragit L 30D-55 and Eudragit L 100-55 (the latter copolymer is a spray-dried form of Eudragit L 30D-55 that can be reconstituted with water). The molecular weight of the Eudragit L 30D-55 and Eudragit L 100-55 copolymer is approximately 135,000 Da, with a ratio of free carboxyl groups to ester groups of approximately 1:1. The Eudragit L 100-55 copolymer is generally insoluble in aqueous fluids having a pH below 5.5. Another particularly suitable methacrylic acid-methyl methacrylate copolymer is Eudragit S-100, which differs from Eudragit L 30D-55 in that the ratio of free carboxyl groups to ester groups is approximately 1:2. Eudragit S-100 is insoluble at pH below 5.5, but unlike Eudragit L 30D-55, is poorly soluble in aqueous fluids having a pH in the range of 5.5 to 7.0. This copolymer is soluble at pH 7.0 and above. Eudragit L 100 may also be used, which has a pH-dependent solubility profile between that of Eudragit L 30D-55 and Eudragit S-100, insofar as it is insoluble at a pH below 6.0. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that Eudragit L 30D-55, L 100-55, L 100, and S 100 can be replaced with other acceptable polymers having similar pH-dependent solubility characteristics. Other suitable acrylate polymers are those methacrylic acid/ethyl acrylate copolymers available under the tradename "Kollicoat" from BASF AG (Germany). For example, Kollicoat MAE has the same molecular structure as Eudragit L 100-55.

    [0054] As the water-swellable polymer is an acrylic acid or acrylate polymer, a hydrogel is provided that can be reversibly dried, i.e., after removal of water and any other solvents, the dried hydrogel may be reconstituted to its original state by addition of water. In addition, hydrophilic hydrogels prepared with an acrylic acid/acrylate water-swellable polymer are generally substantially nontacky prior to contact with water, but become tacky upon contact with a moist surface, such as is found in the interior of the mouth, such as on the surface of the teeth. This property of being nontacky prior to contact with water enables positioning or repositioning on a chosen surface before, or as the hydrogel becomes tacky. Once hydrated, the hydrogel becomes tacky and adheres to the surface of the teeth or mucosal surface.

    [0055] In addition, acrylate-containing compositions can generally provide swelling in the range of about 400% to 1500% upon immersion of the hydrogel composition in water or other aqueous liquid, at a pH of less than 5.5, although the ratio of the acrylate polymer to the hydrophilic polymer/complementary oligomer blend can be selected such that the rate and extent of swelling in an aqueous environment has a predetermined pH-dependence. This feature also provides for retroactive incorporation of whitening agents or other active agents, such as loading the composition with peroxide, peroxy acids, chlorites, stabilizers, flavoring agents, etc.

    B. HYDROPHILIC POLYMERS



    [0056] The second component of the hydrogel composition is a blend of a hydrophilic polymer with a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen bonding or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer. Referring to this as a "blend" is intended to mean that the interaction of the hydrophilic polymer and the oligomer dominate the hydrogel properties. However, the addition of the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, serves to tailor the properties of this blend so as to obtain a single phase hydrogel with the desired characteristics. Such tailoring can be accomplished by selection of a particular water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, or the inclusion of a certain amount of polymer, or even by the timing of the addition of the polymer to the other ingredients (hydrophilic polymer, complementary oligomer, active agent, etc.) during manufacture.

    [0057] The hydrophilic polymer is generally a relatively high molecular weight polymer, and the complementary oligomer is generally a lower molecular weight polymer. For solid compositions, the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer represents about 1-20 wt%, preferably about 6-12 wt% of the composition; the hydrophilic polymer represents about 20-80 wt%, preferably about 40-60 wt% of the composition; the complementary oligomer represents about 10-50 wt%, preferably about 15-35 wt% of the composition; and the whitening agent represents about 0.1-6 0 wt%, preferably about 1-30 wt% of the composition. Optimally, the complementary oligomer represents about 10-80 wt%, preferably about 20-50 wt% of the hydrophilic polymer/complementary oligomer blend.

    [0058] Suitable hydrophilic polymers include repeating units derived from an N-vinyl lactam monomer, a carboxy vinyl monomer, a vinyl ester monomer, an ester of a carboxy vinyl monomer, a vinyl amide monomer, and/or a hydroxy vinyl monomer. Such polymers include, by way of example, poly(N-vinyl lactams), poly(N-vinyl acrylamides), poly(N-alkylacrylamides), substituted and unsubstituted acrylic and methacrylic acid polymers (e.g., polyacrylic acids and polymethacrylic acids), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polyvinylamine, copolymers thereof and copolymers with other types of hydrophilic monomers (e.g. vinyl acetate).

    [0059] Poly(N-vinyl lactams) useful herein are preferably noncrosslinked homopolymers or copolymers of N-vinyl lactam monomer units, with N-vinyl lactam monomer units representing the majority of the total monomeric units of a poly (N-vinyl lactams) copolymer. Preferred poly(N-vinyl lactams) for use in conjunction with the invention are prepared by polymerization of one or more of the following N-vinyl lactam monomers: N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone; N-vinyl-2-valerolactam; and N-vinyl-2-caprolactam. Nonlimiting examples of non-N-vinyl lactam comonomers useful with N-vinyl lactam monomeric units include N,N-dimethylacrylamide, acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, hydroxyethylmethacrylate, acrylamide, 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid or its salt, and vinyl acetate.

    [0060] Poly (N-alkylacrylamides) include, by way of example, poly(methacrylamide) and poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM).

    [0061] Polymers of carboxy vinyl monomers are typically formed from acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, crotonic acid, isocrotonic acid, itaconic acid and anhydride, a 1,2-dicarboxylic acid such as maleic acid or fumaric acid, maleic anhydride, or mixtures thereof, with preferred hydrophilic polymers within this class including polyacrylic acid and polymethacrylic acid, with polyacrylic acid most preferred.

    [0062] Preferred hydrophilic polymers herein are the following: poly (N-vinyl lactams), particularly polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) and polyvinyl caprolactam (PVCap); poly(N-vinyl acetamides), particularly polyacetamide per se; polymers of carboxy vinyl monomers, particularly polyacrylic acid and polymethacrylic acid; and copolymers and blends thereof. PVP and PVCap are particularly preferred.

    [0063] The molecular weight of the hydrophilic polymer is not critical; however, the number average molecular weight of the hydrophilic polymer is generally in the range of approximately 100,000 to 2,000,000, more typically in the range of approximately 500,000 to 1,500,000. The oligomer is "complementary" to the hydrophilic polymers in that it is capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding, thereto. Preferably, the complementary oligomer is terminated with hydroxyl groups, amino or carboxyl groups. The oligomer typically has a glass transition temperature Tg in the range of about -100°C to about -30°C and a melting temperature Tm lower than about 20°C. The oligomer may be also amorphous. The difference between the Tg values of the hydrophilic polymer and the oligomer is preferably greater than about 50°C, more preferably greater than about 100 °C, and most preferably in the range of about 150°C to about 300°C. The hydrophilic polymer and complementary oligomer should be compatible, i.e. capable of forming a homogeneous blend.

    C. COMPLEMENTARY OLIGOMER



    [0064] As noted above, the complementary oligomer is capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer. The complementary oligomer may be capable of covalently bonding to the hydrophilic polymer as well. In addition, the complementary oligomer may be capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer.

    [0065] Generally, the complementary oligomer will have a molecular weight in the range from about 45 to about 800, preferably in the range of about 45 to about 600. The complementary oligomer is preferably a low molecular weight polyalkylene glycol (molecular weight 200-600) such as polyethylene glycol 400, which can also serve as a low molecular weight plasticizer. Alternatively, a different compound can be incorporated as an additional low molecular weight plasticizer, in which case any of the low molecular weight plasticizers described below can be used. In one embodiment of the invention, the complementary oligomer is a complementary low molecular weight or oligomeric plasticizer that contains at least two functional groups per molecule that are capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer.

    [0066] In some instances, the complementary oligomer may also serve as a low molecular weight plasticizer. Alternatively, a different compound can be incorporated as an additional low molecular weight plasticizer and, if included, would be present as approximately 30 to 35 wt% of the composition.

    [0067] Examples of suitable complementary oligomers include, but are not limited to, low molecular weight polyhydric alcohols (e.g. glycerol or sorbitol), monomeric and oligoalkylene glycols such as ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, ether alcohols (e.g., glycol ethers), carbonic diacids, alkane diols from butane diol to octane diol, including carboxyl-terminated and amino-terminated derivatives of polyalkylene glycols. Polyalkylene glycols, optionally carboxyl-terminated, are preferred herein, and polyethylene glycol having a molecular weight in the range of about 200 to 600 is an optimal complementary oligomer.

    [0068] It will be appreciated from the foregoing that a single compound, e.g., a low molecular weight polyalkylene glycol such as polyethylene glycol having a molecular weight in the range of about 200 to 600, can serve as both the complementary oligomer and the low molecular weight plasticizer.

    [0069] As discussed in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2002/0037977 to Feldstein et al., the ratio of the hydrophilic polymer to the complementary oligomer in the aforementioned blend affects both adhesive strength and the cohesive strength. As explained in the aforementioned patent application, the complementary oligomer decreases the glass transition of the hydrophilic polymer/complementary oligomer blend to a greater degree than predicted by the Fox equation, which is given by equation (1)

    where Tg predicted is the predicted glass transition temperature of the hydrophilic polymer/complementary oligomer blend, wpol is the weight fraction of the hydrophilic polymer in the blend, wpl is the weight fraction of the complementary oligomer in the blend, Tg pol is the glass transition temperature of the hydrophilic polymer, and Tg pl is the glass transition temperature of the complementary oligomer. As also explained in that patent application, an adhesive composition having optimized adhesive and cohesive strength can be prepared from a hydrophilic polymer with a complementary oligomer by selecting the components and their relative amounts to give a predetermined deviation from Tg predicted. Generally, to maximize adhesion, the predetermined deviation from Tg predicted will be the maximum negative deviation, while to minimize adhesion, any negative deviation from Tg predicted is minimized.

    [0070] As the complementary oligomer may itself act as a plasticizer, it is not generally necessary to incorporate an added plasticizer. However, inclusion of an additional low molecular weight plasticizer in the composition is optional and may, in some cases, be advantageous. Suitable low molecular weight plasticizers include: dialkyl phthalates, dicycloalkyl phthalates, diaryl phthalates, and mixed alkyl-aryl phthalates, as represented by dimethyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, dipropyl phthalate, di(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate, diisopropyl phthalate, diamyl phthalate and dicapryl phthalate; alkyl and aryl phosphates such as tributyl phosphate, trioctyl phosphate, tricresyl phosphate, and triphenyl phosphate; alkyl citrate and citrate esters such as trimethyl citrate, triethyl citrate, tributyl citrate, acetyl triethyl citrate, and trihexyl citrate; dialkyl adipates such as dioctyl adipate (DOA); also referred to as bis(2-ethylhexyl)adipate), diethyl adipate, di(2-methylethyl)adipate, and dihexyl adipate; dialkyl tartrates such as diethyl tartrate and dibutyl tartrate; dialkyl sebacates such as diethyl sebacate, dipropyl sebacate and dinonyl sebacate; dialkyl succinates such as diethyl succinate and dibutyl succinate; alkyl glycolates, alkyl glycerolates, glycol esters and glycerol esters such as glycerol diacetate, glycerol triacetate (triacetin), glycerol monolactate diacetate, methyl phthalyl ethyl glycolate, butyl phthalyl butyl glycolate, ethylene glycol diacetate, ethylene glycol dibutyrate, triethylene glycol diacetate, triethylene glycol dibutyrate and triethylene glycol dipropionate; and mixtures thereof. Preferred low molecular weight plasticizers for the continuous hydrophilic phase are triethyl citrate, tributyl citrate, diethyl phthalate, and dioctyl adipate, with dioctyl adipate most preferred.

    [0071] The properties of the composition of the invention are readily controlled by adjusting one or more parameters during fabrication. For example, the adhesive strength of the composition can be controlled during manufacture in order to increase, decrease, or eliminate adhesion. This can be accomplished by varying type and/or amount of different components, or by changing the mode of manufacture. Also, with respect to the fabrication process, compositions prepared using a conventional melt extrusion process are generally, although not necessarily, somewhat less tacky than compositions prepared using a solution cast technique. Furthermore, the degree to which the hydrogel composition will swell upon contact with water can be varied by selecting different water-swellable polymers, and, in those compositions containing a continuous hydrophilic phase, by adjusting the ratio of the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer to the hydrophilic polymer/complementary plasticizer blend. These compositions may vary in appearance from clear, transparent to translucent to opaque. In addition, certain compositions may be rendered translucent by changing the relative quantities of the components in the hydrophilic phase (e.g., by decreasing the amount of the cellulose ester), or by changing the fabrication method (translucent hydrogels are more readily obtained using solution casting than melt extrusion). In this manner, the translucent composition allows the user to observe the therapeutic or cosmetic (e.g., whitening) process while it is occurring and determine when the desired effect has been obtains, for example when the teeth have been sufficiently whitened.

    D. ACTIVE AGENTS



    [0072] The composition also includes an active agent as defined above. This active agent is useful in treating physiological conditions involving the teeth, and surrounding tissue, as well as other mucosal tissues. Undesirable, physiological conditions involving the teeth or surrounding tissue which are amenable to treatment with the present composition include: halitosis; periodontal and oral infections; periodontal lesions; dental caries or decay; gingivitis; and other periodontal diseases. The active agent is present in the hydrogel and may also be present in the backing member. Furthermore, several agents can be incorporated into the composition of the invention. For example, the hydrogel may contain a tooth whitening agent that is released onto a tooth surface, while the backing can be loaded with a different active such as a breath freshener, which is released to oral cavity.

    [0073] Such agents are present in a cosmeceutically or therapeutically effective amount. In particular, the active agent is selected from the group consisting of a whitening agent, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or analgesic agent, a steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, a local anesthetic, a bactericide or disinfectant, an antibiotic, an antifungal, a tooth desensitizing agent, a fluoride anticavity or antidecay agent, an anti-tartar or anti-calculus agent, an enzyme that inhibits the formation of plaque, a calculus or dental caries agent, an abrasive agent, a metal chelator, an anti-oxidant, a nutritional supplement for local delivery to the teeth and surrounding tissue and a cosmetically active agent which is breath freshener or an agent which effects whitening or bleaching of the teeth.

    [0074] In one embodiment, the above-described hydrogel composition contains a whitening agent and thereby acts as a delivery system when applied to the teeth. The release of whitening agents "loaded" into the present hydrogel compositions typically involves both absorption of water and desorption of the agent via a swelling-controlled diffusion mechanism. Whitening agent-containing hydrogel compositions may be employed in a manner similar to that of topical pharmaceutical formulations, for example.

    [0075] Suitable tooth whitening agents include peroxides, metal chlorites, perborates, percarbonates, peroxyacids, and combinations thereof. Suitable peroxide compounds include hydrogen peroxide, calcium peroxide, magnesium peroxide, carbamide peroxide, and mixtures thereof. The preferred peroxides are hydrogen and carbamide peroxide. Other suitable peroxides include organic peroxides, including but not limited to dialkyl peroxides such as t-butyl peroxide and 2,2 bis(t-butylperoxy)propane, diacyl peroxides such as benzoyl peroxide and acetyl peroxide, peresters such as t-butyl perbenzoate and t-butyl per-2-ethylhexanoate, perdicarbonates such as dicetyl peroxy dicarbonate and dicyclohexyl peroxy dicarbonate, ketone peroxides such as cyclohexanone peroxide and methylethylketone peroxide, and hydroperoxides such as cumene hydroperoxide and tert-butyl hydroperoxide. The whitening agent is preferably a peroxide, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, and most preferably is hydrogen peroxide.

    [0076] Suitable metal chlorites include calcium chlorite, barium chlorite, magnesium chlorite, lithium chlorite, sodium chlorite, and potassium chlorite; hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide. The preferred chlorite is sodium chlorite.

    [0077] In another embodiment, the pharmaceutically active agent can be, for example, an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory/analgesic; steroidal anti-inflammatory agents; local anesthetics; bactericides/disinfectants; antibiotics; antifungals; tooth desensitizing agents; fluoride anticavity/antidecay agents; anti-tartar/anti-calculus agents; enzymes which inhibit the formation of plaque, calculus or dental caries; abrasive agents such as pyrophosphates; metal chelators such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, tetrasodium salt; anti-oxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole; butylated hydroxy toluene; or nutritional supplements for local delivery to the teeth and surrounding tissue.

    [0078] Suitable non-steroidal anti-inflammatory/analgesic agents include acetaminophen; methyl salicylate; monoglycol salicylate; aspirin; mefenamic acid; flufenamic acid; indomethacin; diclofenac; alclofenac; diclofenac sodium; ibuprofen; flurbiprofen; fentizac; bufexamac; piroxicam; phenylbutazone; oxyphenbutazone; clofezone; pentazocine; mepirizole; and tiaramide hydrochloride.

    [0079] Suitable steroidal anti-inflammatory agents include hydrocortisone; prednisolone; dexamethasone; triamcinolone acetonide; fluocinolone acetonide; hydrocortisone acetate; prednisolone acetate; methylprednisolone; dexamethasone acetate; betamethasone; betamethasone valerate; flumetasone; flourometholone; budesonide; and beclomethasone dipropionate.

    [0080] Suitable local anesthetics include dibucaine hydrochloride; dibucaine; lidocaine hydrochloride; lidocaine; benzocaine; p-buthylaminobenzoic acid 2-(diethylamino) ethyl ester hydrochloride; procaine hydrochloride; tetracaine hydrochloride; chloroprocaine hydrochloride; oxyprocaine hydrochloride; mepivacaine; cocaine hydrochloride; and piperocaine hydrochloride.

    [0081] Suitable bactericides/disinfectants include thimerosol; phenol; thymol; benzalkonium chloride; benzethonium chloride; chlorhexidine; providone iodide; cetylpyridinium chloride; eugenol, and trimethylammonium bromide.

    [0082] Suitable antibiotics include penicillin; meticillin; oxacillin; cefalotin; cefaloridin; erythromycin; lincomycin; tetracycline; chlortetracycline; oxytetracycline; metacycline; chloramphenicol; kanamycin; streptomycin; gentamicin; bacitracin; and cycloserine.

    [0083] Suitable antifungal drugs include amphotericin; clotrimazole; econazole nitrate; fluconazole; griseofulvin; itraconazole; ketoconazole; miconazole; nystatin; terbinafine hydrochloride; undecenoic acid; and zinc undecenoate.

    [0084] Suitable tooth-desensitizing agents include potassium nitrate and strontium chloride. Suitable fluoride anticavity/antidecay agents include sodium fluoride, potassium fluoride and ammonium fluoride.

    [0085] Additional whitening agents include anti-tartar/anti-calculus agents, including phosphates such as pyrophosphates, polyphosphates, polyphosphonates (e.g., ethane-1-hydroxy-1,1-diphosphonate, 1-azacycloheptane-1,1-diphosphonate, and linear alkyl diphosphonates), and salts thereof; linear carboxylic acids; and sodium zinc citrate; and mixtures thereof. Preferred pyrophosphate salts are the dialkali metal pyrophosphate salts, tetra-alkali metal pyrophosphate salts; and the hydrated or unhydrated forms of disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate (Na2H2P2O7), tetrasodium pyrophosphate (Na4P2O7), and tetrapotassium pyrophosphate (K4P2O7). The pyrophosphate salts are described in more detail in Kirk & Othmer, Encyclopedia of Clinical Technology Third Edition, Volume 17, Wiley-Interscience Publishers (1982. Optionally, whitening agents can also include tartar dissolving agents such as betaines, amine oxides and quaternaries, as described in U.S. Patent No. 6,315,991 to Zofchak.

    [0086] Enzymatic agents that would act to inhibit the formation of plaque, calculus or dental caries are also useful in the compositions. The enzymatic agents can be stored together with the whitening agent, or they can be positioned in a different layer within a multiple layer system as described herein. Suitable enzymes include: proteases that break down salivary proteins which are absorbed onto the tooth surface and form the pellicle, or first layer of plaque; lipases which destroy bacteria by lysing proteins and lipids which form the structural component of bacterial cell walls and membranes; dextranases, glucanohydrolases, endoglycosidases, and mucinases which break down the bacterial skeletal structure which forms a matrix for bacterial adhesion to the tooth; and amylases which prevent the development of calculus by breaking-up the carbohydrate-protein complex that binds calcium. Preferred enzymes include any of the commercially available proteases; dextranases; glucanohydrolases; endoglycosidases; amylases; mutanases; lipases; mucinases; and compatible mixtures thereof. In some embodiments, an enzymatic whitening agent may be utilized.

    [0087] Optionally, an enzymatic whitening agent is a peroxidase such that peroxide is generated in situ. When an enzymatic whitening or antiplaque agent is incorporated into the composition, the composition should be such that the enzyme is maintained in its active form, e.g., the pH should be approximately neutral, and peroxide may be omitted or contained in a separate layer.

    [0088] Suitable nutritional supplements for local delivery to the teeth and surrounding tissue include vitamins (e.g., vitamins C and D, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, niacin, folic acid, nicotinamide, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin, para-aminobenzoic acid, and bioflavonoids); and minerals (e.g., calcium, phosphorus, fluoride, zinc, manganese, and potassium); and mixtures thereof. Vitamins and minerals useful in the present invention are disclosed in Drug Facts and Comparisons (loose leaf drug information service), Wolters Kluer Company, St. Louis, Mo., 1997, pp 3 -17.

    [0089] The composition can also include any cosmetically active agent. As used herein, a "cosmetically active agent" includes any substance that can be released from the composition to effect a desired change in the appearance of the teeth or surrounding tissue, or which imparts a socially desirable characteristic to the user, such as fresh breath. In the composition of the invention, the cosmetically active agent is a breath freshener or an agent which effects whitening or bleaching of the teeth. Recognizing that in some cultures or in certain segments of Western society coloration of the teeth may be significant or desirable, the cosmetically active agent can also be any agent which imparts a color or tint to the teeth.

    [0090] Additional whitening agents may be included in the composition. For example, surfactants such as detergents, may also be present, and will work together with the whitening agents described above to provide a brighter appearance to the teeth.

    [0091] In any of these embodiments, a tooth whitening composition of the invention preferably includes a peroxide for whitening the teeth, and may also include conventional additives such as fillers, preservatives, pH regulators, softeners, thickeners, colorants, pigments, dyes, refractive particles, stabilizers, toughening agents, pharmaceutical agents, flavoring or breath freshening agents, and permeation enhancers. In those embodiments wherein adhesion is to be reduced or eliminated, conventional detackifying agents may also be used. These additives, and amounts thereof, are selected in such a way that they do not significantly interfere with the desired chemical and physical properties of the tooth whitening composition, or interfere with the delivery of the tooth whitening agent can be included in the composition. Such additional ingredients include coloring compounds; food additives, flavorants, sweeteners, and preservatives.

    E. OTHER INGREDIENTS



    [0092] Any natural or synthetic flavorant or food additive, such as those described in Chemicals Used in Food Processing, Pub. No. 1274, National Academy of Sciences, pages 63-258 can be included in the compositions of the invention. Suitable flavorants include wintergreen, peppermint, spearmint, menthol, fruit flavors, vanilla, cinnamon, spices, flavor oils and oleoresins, as known in the art, as well as combinations thereof. The amount of flavorant employed is normally a matter of preference, subject to such factors as flavor type, individual flavor, and strength desired. Preferably, the composition comprises from about 0.1 to 5 wt% flavorant.

    [0093] Sweeteners useful in the present invention include sucrose, fructose, aspartame, xylitol and saccharine. Preferably, the composition comprises sweeteners in an amount from about 0.001 to 5.0 wt%.

    [0094] The suitable substrate can be translucent so that the composition is unobtrusive when worn. However, the substrate or the composition can optionally be colored, so that the composition is easily seen when worn. Preferably, if coloring is desired, the color will be present in the substrate. For example, the substrate can be colored with bright or vibrant colors which a consumer may find pleasing. The substrate can therefore comprise a colorizing compound, such as, for example, a dye, pigment or substance that can impart color when added to the material forming the substrate.

    [0095] For example, colorizing compounds of the type commonly used with a food, drugs, or cosmetics in connection with the human body, especially color additives permitted for use in foods which are classified as "certifiable" or "exempt from certification," can be used to color the substrate. The colorizing compounds used to color the substrate can be derived from natural sources such as vegetables, minerals or animals, or can be man-made counterparts of natural derivatives.

    [0096] Colorizing compounds presently certified under the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act for use in food and ingested drugs include dyes such as FD&C Red No. 3 (sodium salt of tetraiodofluorescein); Food Red 17 (disodium salt of 6-hydroxy-5-{(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulphophenyl)azo}-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid); Food Yellow 13 (sodium salt of a mixture of the mono and disulfonic acids of quinophthalone or 2-(2-quinolyl)indanedione); FD&C Yellow No. 5 (sodium salt of 4-p-sulfophenylazo-1-p-sulfophenyl-5-hydroxypyrazole-3 carboxylic acid); FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sodium salt of p-sulfophenylazo-B-napthol-6-monosulfonate); FD&C Green No. 3 (disodium salt of 4-{[4-(N-ethyl-p-sulfobenzylamino)-phenyl]-(4-hydroxy-2-sulfonium-phenyl)-m ethylene}-[1-(N-ethyl-N-p-sulfobenzyl)-3,5-cyclohexadienimine]); FD&C Blue No. 1 (disodium salt of dibenzyldiethyl-diaminotriphenylcarbinol trisulfonic acid anhydrite); FD&C Blue No. 2 (sodium salt of disulfonic acid of indigotin); FD&C Red No. 40; Orange B; and Citrus Red No. 2; and combinations thereof in various proportions.

    [0097] Colorizing compounds exempt from FDA certification include annatto extract; beta-apo-8'-carotenal; beta-carotene; beet powder; canthaxanthin; caramel color; carrot oil; cochineal extract (carmine); toasted, partially defatted, cooked cottonseed flour; ferrous gluconate; fruit juice; grape color extract; grape skin extract (enocianina); paprika; paprika oleoresin; riboflavin; saffron; turmeric; turmeric oleoresin; vegetable juice; and combinations thereof in various proportions.

    [0098] The form of the colorizing compound for use in the composition preferably includes dye form additives, but may also include lake forms which are compatible with the material comprising the substrate. Water soluble dyes, provided in the form of powders, granules, liquids or other special-purpose forms, can be used in accordance with the present method. Preferably, the "lake", or water insoluble form of the dye, is used for coloring the substrate. For example, if a suspension of a colorizing compound is to be used, a lake form additive can be employed. Suitable water insoluble dye lakes prepared by extending calcium or aluminum salts of FD&C dyes on alumina include FD&C Green #1 lake, FD&C Blue #2 lake, FD&C R&D #30 lake and FD&C # Yellow 15 lake.

    [0099] Other suitable colorizing compounds include non-toxic, water insoluble inorganic pigments such as titanium dioxide; chromium oxide greens; ultramarine blues and pinks; and ferric oxides. Such pigments preferably have a particle size in the range of about 5 to about 1000 microns, more preferably about 250 to about 500 microns.

    [0100] The concentration of the colorizing compound in the substrate is preferably from about 0.05 to 10 wt%, and is more preferably from about 0.1 to 5 wt%.

    [0101] More than one colorizing compound can be present in the substrate, so that multiple colors are imparted therein. These multiple colors can be patterned into stripes, dots, swirls, or any other design which a consumer may find pleasing. The colorizing compound can also be used with other appearance-enhancing substances such as glitter particles.

    [0102] Absorbent fillers may be advantageously incorporated to control the degree of hydration when the adhesive is on the tooth surface. Such fillers can include microcrystalline cellulose, talc, lactose, kaolin, mannitol, colloidal silica, alumina, zinc oxide, titanium oxide, magnesium silicate, magnesium aluminum silicate, hydrophobic starch, calcium sulfate, calcium stearate, calcium phosphate, calcium phosphate dihydrate, clays such as laponite, woven and non-woven paper and cotton materials. Other suitable fillers are inert, i.e., substantially non-adsorbent, and include, for example, polyethylenes, polypropylenes, polyurethane polyether amide copolymers, polyesters and polyester copolymers, nylon and rayon. A preferred filler is colloidal silica, e.g., Cab-O-Sil® (Cabot Corporation, Boston MA).

    [0103] Preservatives include, by way of example, p-chloro-m-cresol, phenylethyl alcohol, phenoxyethyl alcohol, chlorobutanol, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid methylester, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid propylester, benzalkonium chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorohexidine diacetate or gluconate, ethanol, and propylene glycol.

    [0104] Compounds useful as pH regulators include, but are not limited to, glycerol buffers, citrate buffers, borate buffers, phosphate buffers, or citric acid-phosphate buffers may also be included so as to ensure that the pH of the hydrogel composition is compatible with that of the environment of the mouth and will not leach minerals from the surface of the teeth. In order to optimize whitening without demineralization of the teeth, calcium and/or fluoride salts can be included in the composition.

    [0105] Suitable softeners include citric acid esters, such as triethylcitrate or acetyl triethylcitrate, tartaric acid esters such as dibutyltartrate, glycerol esters such as glycerol diacetate and glycerol triacetate; phthalic acid esters, such as dibutyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate; and/or hydrophilic surfactants, preferably hydrophilic non-ionic surfactants, such as, for example, partial fatty acid esters of sugars, polyethylene glycol fatty acid esters, polyethylene glycol fatty alcohol ethers, and polyethylene glycol sorbitan-fatty acid esters.

    [0106] Preferred thickeners herein are naturally occurring compounds or derivatives thereof, and include, by way of example: collagen; galactomannans; starches; starch derivatives and hydrolysates; cellulose derivatives such as methyl cellulose, hydroxypropylcellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose; colloidal silicic acids; and sugars such as lactose, saccharose, fructose and glucose. Synthetic thickeners such as polyvinyl alcohol, vinylpyrrolidone-vinylacetate-copolymers, polyethylene glycols, and polypropylene glycols may also be used.

    [0107] The substrate can also be embedded or decorated with decorative items such as beads, rhinestones, or the like, as long as these items do not interfere with the visco-elastic properties of the substrate required for proper deformation of the composition onto the teeth, as described above. The substrate can also display letters, words, or images designed to be pleasing or attractive to a consumer.

    F. ERODIBLE BACKING MEMBER



    [0108] The erodible backing member is comprised of a polymer composition that erodes in a moist environment at a slower rate than the hydrogel and is substantially non-tacky. In particular, the backing member is comprised of an acrylate polymer, which acrylate polymer has a lower solubility than the water-swellable, water-insoluble acrylate polymer. In the present invention the hydrogel erodes in 1 second to 24 hours after placement in a moist environment. In one embodiment the hydrogel may erode in about 10 seconds to 8 hours after placement. The erodible backing member, in one embodiment, erodes about 12 to 24 hours after the hydrogel has eroded, while in another embodiment the backing erodes within about 12 hours after hydrogel has eroded. The erodible backing member material is selected so that it erodes at a slower rate than the hydrogel composition, when in use. In one embodiment, the erodible backing member erodes at least about 200% slower than the hydrogel, in another embodiment, the backing erodes at least about 100% slower, in a different embodiment the backing erodes at least about 50% slower, and in yet another embodiment the backing erodes at least about 25% slower than the hydrogel.

    [0109] Suitable acrylate polymers are described above as water-swellable, water-insoluble polymers, and include by way of example and not limitation, polymers formed from acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, methyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate, ethyl methacrylate, and/or other vinyl monomers. Preferred acrylate polymers are the Eudragit® copolymers (copolymers of methacrylic acid and methyl methacrylate), such as the Eudragit® series E, L, S, RL, RS and NE copolymers. As noted above, these Eudragit polymers also find utility as the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer component of the hydrogel. Since Eudragit polymers are available in different grades with varying pH dependent solubility and permeability characteristics, the grade used for the erodible backing is selected to have a lower solubility as compared to the grade used in the hydrogel. For example, if L 100-55 is selected for use in the hydrogel, Eudragit L 100 can be used in the backing; if Eudragit L 100 is used in hydrogel, Eudragit S 100 could be used in the backing. In addition, mixtures of Eudragit polymers or mixtures of Eudragit polymers with other polymers and excipients (e.g. buffering agents, pH modulators) may be used to tailor the rate of erosion of the backing member relative to the hydrogel.

    [0110] It is understood that any of the active agents and other ingredients described in relation to the hydrogel composition can also be present in the backing member. For example, the hydrogel may contain an active agent that is released onto a tooth surface or oral mucosa, while the backing can be loaded with a flavorant, which is released to oral cavity.

    IV. FABRICATION PROCESSES



    [0111] The hydrogel compositions of the invention are generally melt extrudable, and thus may be prepared using a simple blending and extruding process. The components of the composition are weighed out and then admixed, for example using a Brabender or Baker Perkins Blender, generally although not necessarily at an elevated temperature, e.g., about 90 to 140°C. Solvents or water may be added if desired. The resulting composition can be extruded using a single or twin extruder, or pelletized. Alternatively, the components of the hydrogel composition can be melted one at a time, and then mixed prior to extrusion. The hydrogel composition can be extruded directly onto the erodible backing member. The hydrogel composition can be also extruded first, and then be pressed against the backing member or laminated to the backing member. A releasable liner may also be included. The thickness of the resulting hydrogel-containing film, for most purposes, will be in the range of about 0.050 to 0.80 mm, more usually in the range of about 0.37 to 0.47 mm.

    [0112] Alternatively, the compositions may be prepared by solution casting, by admixing the components of the composition in a suitable solvent, e.g., a volatile solvent such as ethyl acetate, or lower alkanols (e.g., ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, etc.) are particularly preferred, at a concentration typically in the range of about 35 to 60 % w/v. The solution is cast onto the erodible backing member or releasable liner, as above. Both admixture and casting are preferably carried out at ambient temperature. The backing member coated with the film is then baked at a temperature in the range of about 80 to 100°C, optimally about 90°C, for time period in the range of about one to four hours, optimally about two hours. Accordingly, described herein is a method for preparing a hydrogel film suitable for incorporation into a composition of the invention, which involves the following steps: preparing a solution of a water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, a hydrophilic polymer, and a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer, in a solvent; depositing a layer of the solution on an erodible backing member to provide a coating thereon; and heating the coated backing member to a temperature in the range of about 80 to 100°C for a time period in the range of about 1 to 4 hours, thereby providing a hydrogel film on the backing member.

    [0113] When tacky hydrogel compositions are desired, solution casting is the preferred process. For preparation of substantially nontacky compositions, melt extrusion is preferred. Either melt extrusion or solution casting techniques can be used to prepare translucent compositions, although solution casting is typically preferred for these embodiments. Accordingly, described herein is a method of forming a composition comprised of a continuous hydrophilic phase, which involves the following steps: melt processing through an extruder a mixture of a water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, a hydrophilic polymer, and a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer, to form an extruded composition; extruding the composition as a film of desired thickness onto a suitable erodible backing member; and, when cooled, and loading the film with an aqueous solution of the active agent such as a peroxide to obtain a concentration of whitening agent of from about 1 to 20 wt%.

    [0114] The invention also contemplates having a multiple layer system that includes one or more additional hydrogel or non-hydrogel layers. For example, it may be desirable to include additional active agents that may not be compatible with the primary active agent during storage. In this manner, one layer can be the primary active agent-containing hydrogel layer and the other layer(s) can contain additional actives. These other layers can be made of the hydrogel composition described herein, or any other biocompatible formulation known in the art (e.g., polyisobutylene, dimethyl siloxane, ethylene vinyl acetate, polyvinylacetate, cellulose acetate, butyrate, propionate, ethyl cellulose and water insoluble acrylates). In addition, depending on ordering of the layers, it may be desired to have a tacky layer, e.g., the layer to be positioned directly on the teeth, and a non-tacky layer, e.g., the outer layer that is positioned nearest the lips. Another advantage of having multiple layer system is that the ratio of polymers used in the outermost layer can be varied to achieve a non-tacky layers so as to avoid having to include a separate backing layer in the product.

    [0115] In one embodiment, the composition comprises: an outer erodible backing member that serves as the external surface of the composition following application to the tooth, oral tissue or mucosal surface; a surface contact adhesive layer adhered thereto, which generally will be an adhesive composition of the invention, optionally containing additional active agents; and a removable release liner. Upon removal of a release liner, for example, the composition is applied to the surface, e.g., the teeth, to be treated, and placed on the surface so that the oral surface-contacting layer is in contact with the teeth or other oral surface. In another embodiment, the composition is packaged without a release liner. Accordingly, once removed from the packaging, the composition is ready to be applied to the oral surface.

    [0116] The hydrogel-erodible backing member composition may comprise an additional substrate layer, which can serve as the primary structural element and provide the composition with support, either during manufacture or during use. The material used for the substrate should be inert and incapable of absorbing the hydrogel-erodible backing member composition. Also, the material used for the substrate should permit the composition to follow the contours of the teeth or other body surface and be worn comfortably in the mouth without rubbing or otherwise irritating the lips or tongue. Examples of materials useful for the substrate are polyesters, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethanes and polyether amides. The substrate is preferably in the range of about 15 microns to about 250 microns in thickness, and may, if desired, be pigmented, metallized, or provided with a matte finish suitable for writing.

    [0117] In one embodiment, the substrate is preferably although not necessarily occlusive (i.e., not "breathable"), and does not allow any active agent in the composition to leak through the layer, and contact the mucous membranes of the mouth and gums. When ready for use, the composition is pre-moistened so that the tackiness is increased and the composition will adhere to the teeth. One advantage of this embodiment is that the active agent cannot substantially leak out through the substrate and cause irritation in those individuals sensitive to the active agent or to any unpleasant flavor or sensation.

    [0118] Other suitable substrate materials can be non-polymeric materials such as waxes (e.g., microcrystalline or paraffin waxes) or a wax/foam laminate. Paraffin waxes are low molecular weight straight-chain hydrocarbons, with melting points of about 48-75°C and molecular weights of about 300-1400 g/mol, and are typically made by the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Microcrystalline waxes are flexible and amorphous-like in appearance and tend to have a higher tensile strength and smaller crystal size than paraffin waxes. Microcrystalline waxes typically have melting points of about 60-95°C and molecular weights of about 580-700 g/mol, and predominantly contain branched-chain hydrocarbons and some ring-type compounds, although straight-chain hydrocarbons can be present. The substrate material can also be an open-cell foam such as a polyurethane, polystyrene or polyethylene foam.

    [0119] Alternatively, in another embodiment, the substrate is non-occlusive, and therefore can fully hydrate in situ, in position on the teeth or other body surface.

    [0120] The release liner is a disposable element that serves to protect the system prior to application. The release liner should be formed from a material impermeable to the active agent and hydrogel composition, and that is easily stripped from the contact adhesive. Release liners are typically treated with silicone or fluorocarbons, and are commonly made from polyesters and polyethylene terephthalate.

    [0121] A preferred composition is typically prepared using an acrylate polymer as the water-insoluble, water-swellable polymer; and a blend of polyvinylpyrrolidone and polyethylene glycol as the blend of a hydrophilic polymer with a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer.

    [0122] An adhesive film of the composition can be manufactured by thermally melting and mixing the above components together at temperatures ranging from about 100 to 170°C. The film is extruded to a desired thickness on a suitable substrate. Alternatively, the components can be dissolved in a single or mixture of solvents, and the solution can be cast on a releasing or backing film. The solvents are then evaporated to obtain a hydrogel film.

    [0123] One method of loading the composition with the active agent comprises layering a desired active agent, e.g., a tooth whitening agent, in aqueous solution onto the surface of the hydrogel placed on a suitable substrate, or to place the active agent directly on the substrate. The release liner is then assembled on top of the composition, forming a sandwich structure, and the solution containing the whitening agent is absorbed into the composition due to its water-swellable properties. Alternatively, the composition layered onto the substrate can be submerged in a solution containing the desired concentration of whitening agent, and the solution absorbed into the composition. By measuring the rate of weight gain on absorbing the liquid, the percent loading of the composition with the active agent can be determined and controlled.

    [0124] Another approach to loading the active agent into the composition is to add the active agent as a solid or as a solution to the composition dissolved in solvent. The mixture is then cast as usual onto a suitable substrate and allowed to dry, although a lower drying temperature is desired when using this method of loading. Compositions prepared in this manner can be dried at ambient temperature for a time period ranging from about 1 hour to several days.

    [0125] A typical film thickness is from about 0.050 to 0.80 mm, preferably 0.25 to 0.50 mm. The thickness of the film is not critical, and can be varied according to the concentration of whitening agent incorporated into the film, the length of time the film is to be exposed to the teeth, the level of comfort desired by the wearer, and the degree of staining that it is desired to rectify.

    V. METHODS OF USE



    [0126] In practice, the compositions can be used simply by removing the product from its package, removing a release liner (when included) and applying the adhesive layer to the teeth that it is desired to whiten (or placed in any moist body environment or moist surface if another utility of the composition is to be used or if another active agent is to be used). The systems described herein can be provided in a variety of sizes, so that the composition can be applied to the entirety or any portion of a tooth, to any number of teeth at one time, or to any portion of the oral cavity or other moist area.

    [0127] The backing member can be formulated to be occlusive or impermeable to the active agent so as to reduce or prevent leakage of the active agent, from the composition, while the user wears the composition for the desired amount of time, i.e., the composition will then deliver the drug uni-directionally, e.g., only towards the mucosal tissue. Alternately, the backing member can be formulated to have a predetermined permeability so as to provide for bi-directional drug delivery, e.g., towards the mucosal surface as well as towards the oral cavity. The level of permeability, i.e., its selective nature, can also be used to control the relative rates of delivery towards the mucosal surface and the oral cavity.

    [0128] The composition can be maintained in the desired location for as little time as a few minutes, several hours, all day or overnight, and then removed when the desired degree of whitening or the desired therapeutic or cosmetic effect has been achieved. Alternately, the composition can be left in place and allowed to erode entirely. Accordingly, in one embodiment of the invention, a method for whitening teeth may simply comprise applying the composition to teeth in need of whitening, while in another embodiment, the method may further comprise removing the composition when the desired degree of whitening has been achieved.

    [0129] If desired, a translucent composition can be provided, and is worn without being obtrusive or noticeable to others. The system can also be designed without an active ingredient and finds utility as a protective dressing for an oral surface, e.g., as a wound dressing.

    [0130] The composition can be worn for an extended period of time, but will typically be worn for a predetermined period of time of from about 10 minutes to about 24 hours, after which the composition can be removed or will have eroded away. For tooth whitening applications, a preferred time period is from about 10 minutes to about 8 hours (e.g., overnight), with 30 minutes to about 1 hour also being a preferred embodiment. For other active agents, a therapeutically or cosmeceutically effective time can be readily determined based upon the active agent that is being used as well as the condition being treated.

    [0131] In one embodiment, the hydrogel is a solid and is attached to the backing member during manufacture. Accordingly, the composition is applied in a single step. Alternately, the hydrogel can be a non-solid and manufactured and packaged separate from the backing member. In that instance, the hydrogel is first applied by the user, followed by the user applying the backing member to the outer surface of the hydrogel. In either embodiment, the user can form the composition around the upper or lower teeth or other oral tissue by applying normal manual pressure to the backing member with the tips of the fingers and thumbs, optionally by slightly moistening the composition or the body surface prior to application. Assuming the surface area of the average adult finger or thumb tip is approximately one square centimeter, the normal pressure generated by the finger and thumb tips is about 100,000 to about 150,000 Pascals (i.e., about 3 lbs. or 1.36 kg) per square centimeter. The pressure is typically applied to the composition by each finger and thumb tip for about one or two seconds. Once the pressure applied to the backing member by the tips of the fingers and thumbs is removed, the composition remains in the shape of, and adherent to, the surface of the teeth and adjoining soft tissue onto which it was formed.

    [0132] When the user is ready to remove the composition, the composition can be removed simply by peeling it away from the surface of the teeth or other oral or body surface. If desired, the composition can be re-adhered for additional treatment time. Any residue left behind is minimal, and can be removed using conventional tooth or oral cavity cleansing methods.

    [0133] In one embodiment of the invention, the composition is a solid and is a pressure sensitive adhesive and absorbs water.

    [0134] The composition can also be applied as a non-solid composition, for example applied as a liquid or gel. For example, the user can extrude the composition from a tube onto a finger for application to the teeth or other body surface, extrude the composition from a tube directly onto the teeth, apply the composition by means of a brush or other applicator, and so forth. The erodible backing member can then be applied as separate step after the liquid or gel is applied. After the evaporation of solvent, the liquid or gel composition dries to form a matrix-type polymer film or gel on the body surface. In one embodiment of this liquid or gel film-former composition, the hydrogel contains sufficient water or other solvent to provide flowable property. In another embodiment of this composition, the polymer components of the liquid or gel composition are soluble in a water-ethanol mixture both at ambient temperature and at refrigeration temperatures of about 4°C, and are miscible upon solvent evaporation. In yet another embodiment of this liquid or gel film-former composition, the polymeric composition has a Lower Critical Solution Temperature of about 36°C in an ethanol-water mixture. The resulting film (after solvent evaporation) is preferably insoluble or slowly soluble in saliva at body temperature so as to provide long lasting contact between the hydrogen peroxide and the dental enamel. Finally, the hydrogen peroxide should be stable both in the liquid or gel composition, as well as within polymer film upon drying.

    [0135] The practice of the present invention will employ, unless otherwise indicated, conventional techniques of polymer chemistry, adhesive manufacture, and hydrogel preparation, which are within the skill of the art. Such techniques are fully explained in the literature.

    [0136] It is to be understood that while the invention has been described in conjunction with the preferred specific embodiments thereof, the foregoing description, as well as the examples that follow, are intended to illustrate and not limit the scope of the invention. Other aspects, advantages and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains.

    [0137] The following examples are put forth so as to provide those of ordinary skill in the art with a complete disclosure and description of how to make and use the compounds of the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of what the inventors regard as their invention. Efforts have been made to ensure accuracy with respect to numbers (e.g., amounts, temperatures, etc.) but some errors and deviations should be accounted for. Unless indicated otherwise, parts are parts by weight, temperature is in degrees Celsius (°C), and pressure is at or near atmospheric.

    [0138] The following abbreviations and tradenames are used in the examples:
    Eudragit L 100-55 methacrylic acid copolymer (Rohm America Inc.)
    Eudragit L 100 methacrylic acid copolymer (Rohm America Inc.)
    PEG polyethylene glycol 400
    PVP Kollidon® 90 polyvinylpyrrolidone (BASF)

    EXAMPLES


    EXAMPLE 1


    PREPARATION OF A SOLID COMPOSITION



    [0139] One embodiment of a composition for tooth whitening can be prepared from the following ingredients using a melt extrusion process:
    Eudragit L 100-55 9 wt%
    PVP 44 wt%
    PEG 22 wt%
    Hydrogen peroxide 6 wt%
    Water, stabilizers, pH modulators 19 wt%


    [0140] The ingredients are melt processed in a Brabender single screw extruder as follows: The Eudragit L 100-55 is added to the extruder first, followed by PVP and PEG, at a temperature of 100 to 150°C. The composition is extruded to a thickness of 0.35 mm between a polyethylene terephthalate release liner and an erodible backing member made of Eudragit S 100 with appropriate plasticizer if needed. Hydrogen peroxide solution was added to the extruded film.

    EXAMPLE 2


    PREPARATION OF A NON-SOLID COMPOSITION



    [0141] A composition for tooth whitening is prepared from the following ingredients:
    Deionized water 35.0 wt%
    Ethanol 35.0 wt%
    Eudragit L 100-55 4.00 wt%
    PEG 1.00 wt%
    PVP 7.00 wt%
    Carbamide peroxide 18.0 wt%
    Sodium citrate 0.13 wt%


    [0142] The composition is mixed in a Cole-Parmer high-torque low-speed lab mixer supplied with Teflon coated impeller (2 inches in diameter) as follows. Deionized water is mixed with ethanol, followed by the addition of PEG. Sodium citrate is then added under vigorous stirring conditions. Eudragit L 100-55 powder is added slowly (within 2-5 min) under vigorous stirring (500-600 rpm). After about 5-10 min (it is not necessary to wait until all Eudragit is dissolved), PVP powder is slowly added (within 5 min). The high stirring rate is maintained over 5-10 min. Carbamide peroxide powder was added (within 1-2 min) and the mixture stirred to obtain a homogeneous solution (approximately 30 minutes at 800-900 rpm). The solution is then stored over a period of 2-5 hours to let the air bubbles dissipate.

    [0143] This tooth whitening composition can be packaged for use with a Eudragit RL 100 erodible backing member.

    EXAMPLE 3


    PREPARATION OF A NON-SOLID COMPOSITION



    [0144] A composition for tooth whitening is prepared from the following ingredients:
    Deionized water 35.0 wt%
    Ethanol 35.0 wt%
    Eudragit L 100-55 2.50 wt%
    PEG 1.92 wt%
    PVP 6.00 wt%
    Carbamide peroxide 18.0 wt%
    Sodium Citrate 0.08 wt%
    Methocel A4C 1.50 wt%


    [0145] The composition is mixed in a Cole-Parmer high-torque low-speed lab mixer supplied with Teflon coated impeller (2 inches in diameter). Deionized water is mixed with ethanol, followed by the addition of PEG. Sodium citrate is then added under vigorous stirring conditions. Eudragit L 100-55 powder is added slowly (within 5 min) under vigorous stirring (500-600 rpm), followed by the slow (within 5 min) addition of Methocel A4C powder under vigorous stirring (500-600 rpm). After about 10 min, PVP powder is slowly added (within 5 min). The high stirring rate is maintained over 5-10 min. Carbamide peroxide powder is added (within 1-2 min) and the mixture stirred to obtain a homogeneous solution (approximately 30-60 minutes at 500-800 rpm). The solution is then stored over a period of 2-5 hours to let the air bubbles dissipate.

    [0146] This tooth whitening composition can be packaged for use with a Eudragit RS 100 erodible backing member.


    Claims

    1. A composition, comprising:

    (a) a hydrogel comprised of:

    (i) a water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer;

    (ii) a blend of a hydrophilic polymer with a complementary oligomer capable of hydrogen or electrostatic bonding to the hydrophilic polymer; and

    (iii) an active agent which is selected from the group consisting of a whitening agent, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or analgesic agent, a steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, a local anesthetic, a bactericide or disinfectant, an antibiotic, an antifungal, a tooth desensitizing agent, a fluoride anticavity or antidecay agent, an anti-tartar or anti-calculus agent, an enzyme which inhibits the formation of plaque, a calculus or dental caries agent, an abrasive agent, a metal chelator, an anti-oxidant, a nutritional supplement for local delivery to the teeth and surrounding tissue and a cosmetically active agent which is breath freshener or an agent which effects whitening or bleaching of the teeth; and

    (b) a backing member, where the backing member is comprised of a polymer composition that erodes in a moist environment at a slower rate than the hydrogel;

    wherein the hydrogel erodes in 1 second to 24 hours after placement in a moist environment; and wherein the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer and the backing member are comprised of acrylate polymers, and the backing member acrylate polymer has a lower solubility than the water-swellable, water-insoluble acrylate polymer.
     
    2. The composition of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is selected from poly (N-vinyl lactams), poly (N-vinyl amides), poly (N-alkylacrylamides), polyacrylic acids, polymethacrylic acids, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylamine, and copolymers and blends thereof.
     
    3. The composition of claim 1, wherein the complementary oligomer is selected from polyhydric alcohols, monomeric and oligomeric alkylene glycols, polyalkylene glycols, carboxyl-terminated polyalkylene glycols, amino-terminated polyalkylene glycols, ether alcohols, alkane diols and carbonic diacids.
     
    4. The composition of claim 1, wherein the relative quantities of the water-swellable, water-insoluble polymer, the hydrophilic polymer, and the complementary oligomer are selected so as to render the hydrogel translucent.
     
    5. The composition of claim 1, wherein the hydrogel is a solid, a liquid or a gel.
     
    6. The composition of claim 5, which comprises about 0.1-60 wt% of the active agent.
     
    7. The composition of claim 5, which comprises about 1-20 wt% of the water-swellable water-insoluble polymer when the hydrogel is a solid or about 0.1-20 wt% of the water-swellable water-insoluble polymer when the hydrogel is a liquid or a gel.
     
    8. The composition of claim 5, which comprises about 20-80 wt% of the hydrophilic polymer when the hydrogel is a solid or about 1-40 wt% of the hydrophilic polymer when the hydrogel is a liquid or a gel.
     
    9. The composition of claim 5, which comprises about 10-50 wt% of the complementary oligomer when the hydrogel is a solid or about 0.1-20 wt% of the complementary oligomer when the hydrogel is a liquid or a gel.
     
    10. The composition of claim 1, wherein the backing member erodes in the moist environment about 12 to 24 hours after the hydrogel has eroded.
     
    11. The composition of claim 1, wherein the backing member erodes at least about 25% slower than the hydrogel.
     
    12. The composition of claim 1, wherein the active agent is a whitening agent selected from the group consisting of peroxides, metal chlorites, perborates, percarbonates, peroxyacids, and combinations thereof.
     
    13. A method for whitening teeth comprising: applying the composition of claim 12 to teeth in need of whitening.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Zusammensetzung, umfassend:

    (a) ein Hydrogel bestehend aus:

    (i) einem wasserquellbaren wasserunlöslichen Polymer;

    (ii) einem Gemisch aus einem hydrophilen Polymer mit einem ergänzenden Oligomer, das zu Wasserstoffbrücken oder elektrostatischer Bindung mit dem hydrophilen Polymer fähig ist; und

    (iii) einem Wirkstoff, der ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus einem Aufheller, einem nichtsteroiden entzündungshemmenden oder analgetischen Mittel, einem steroiden entzündungshemmenden Mittel, einem Lokalanästhetikum, einem Bakterizid oder Desinfektionsmittel, einem Antibiotikum, einem antifungiellen Mittel, einem Zahndesensibilisierungsmittel, einem Fluorid-Antikavitäts- oder Antizerfallsmittel, einem Antitartar- oder Antizahnsteinmittel, einem Enzym, das die Plaqueentstehung hemmt, einem Zahnstein- oder Zahnkariesmittel, einem Abrasivmittel, einem Metallchelatbildner, einem Antioxidationsmittel, einem Nahrungsergänzungsmittel zur lokalen Abgabe an die Zähne und umgebendes Gewebe und einem kosmetischen Wirkstoff, der ein Atemfrischemittel oder ein Mittel ist, das Aufhellen oder Bleichen der Zähne bewirkt; und

    (b) ein Trägerelement, wobei das Trägerelement aus einer Polymerzusammensetzung besteht, die in einer feuchten Umgebung mit einer langsameren Rate als das Hydrogel erodiert;

    wobei das Hydrogel innerhalb von 1 Sekunde bis 24 Stunden nach dem Platzieren in einer feuchten Umgebung erodiert; und wobei das wasserquellbare wasserunlösliche Polymer und das Trägerelement aus Acrylatpolymeren bestehen und das Trägerelement-Acrylatpolymer eine niedrigere Löslichkeit als das wasserquellbare wasserunlösliche Acrylatpolymer aufweist.
     
    2. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das hydrophile Polymer ausgewählt ist aus Poly(N-vinyllactamen), Poly(N-vinylamiden), Poly(N-alkylacrylamiden), Polyacrylsäuren, Polymethacrylsäuren, Polyvinylalkohol, Polyvinylamin und Copolymeren und Gemischen davon.
     
    3. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das ergänzende Oligomer ausgewählt ist aus polyhydrischen Alkoholen, monomeren und oligomeren Alkylenglycolen, Polyalkylenglycolen, carboxyterminierten Polyalkylenglycolen, aminoterminierten Polyalkylenglycolen, Etheralkoholen, Alkandiolen und zweibasigen Kohlensäuren.
     
    4. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die relativen Mengen des wasserquellbaren wasserunlöslichen Polymers, des hydrophilen Polymers und des ergänzenden Oligomers ausgewählt sind, um das Hydrogel lichtdurchlässig zu machen.
     
    5. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Hydrogel ein Feststoff, eine Flüssigkeit oder ein Gel ist.
     
    6. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 5, umfassend etwa 0,1-60 Gew.-% an dem Wirkstoff.
     
    7. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 5, umfassend etwa 1-20 Gew.-% an dem wasserquellbaren wasserunlöslichen Polymer, wenn das Hydrogel ein Feststoff ist, oder etwa 0,1-20 Gew.-% an dem wasserquellbaren wasserunlöslichen Polymer, wenn das Hydrogel eine Flüssigkeit oder ein Gel ist.
     
    8. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 5, umfassend etwa 20-80 Gew.-% an dem hydrophilen Polymer, wenn das Hydrogel ein Feststoff ist, oder etwa 1-40 Gew.-% an dem hydrophilen Polymer, wenn das Hydrogel eine Flüssigkeit oder ein Gel ist.
     
    9. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 5, umfassend etwa 10-50 Gew.-% an dem ergänzenden Oligomer, wenn das Hydrogel ein Feststoff ist, oder etwa 0,1-20 Gew.-% an dem ergänzenden Oligomer, wenn das Hydrogel eine Flüssigkeit oder ein Gel ist.
     
    10. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Trägerelement in der feuchten Umgebung etwa 12 bis 24 Stunden nachdem das Hydrogel erodiert ist erodiert.
     
    11. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Trägerelement wenigstens etwa 25 % langsamer als das Hydrogel erodiert.
     
    12. Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei der Wirkstoff ein Aufheller ausgewählt aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Peroxiden, Metallchloriten, Perboraten, Percarbonaten, Peroxysäuren und Kombinationen davon ist.
     
    13. Verfahren zum Aufhellen von Zähnen, umfassend: Aufbringen der Zusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 12 auf Zähne mit Bedarf an Aufhellung.
     


    Revendications

    1. Composition, comprenant :

    (a) un hydrogel composé de :

    (i) un polymère expansible à l'eau, insoluble dans l'eau ;

    (ii) un mélange d'un polymère hydrophile avec un oligomère complémentaire capable de liaison hydrogène ou électrostatique au polymère hydrophile ; et

    (iii) un agent actif qui est choisi dans le groupe constitué par un agent de blanchiment, un agent anti-inflammatoire non stéroïdien ou analgésique, un agent anti-inflammatoire stéroïdien, un anesthésique local, un bactéricide ou un désinfectant, un antibiotique, un antifongique, un agent de désensibilisation dentaire, un agent anti-carie ou anti-dégradation au fluorure, un agent anti-tartre ou anti-tartre dentaire, une enzyme qui inhibe la formation de plaque, un agent de tartre dentaire ou de caries dentaires, un agent abrasif, un chélatant de métal, un antioxydant, un supplément nutritionnel pour l'administration locale aux dents et aux tissus environnants et un agente actif sur le plan cosmétique qui est un rafraîchisseur d'haleine ou un agent qui a pour effet un blanchiment ou un blanchissement des dents ; et

    (b) un élément de support, où l'élément de support est composé d'une composition de polymère qui s'érode dans un environnement moite à une vitesse plus faible que l'hydrogel ;

    l'hydrogel s'érodant en 1 seconde à 24 heures après un placement dans un environnement moite ; et le polymère expansible à l'eau, insoluble dans l'eau et l'élément de support étant composés de polymères d'acrylate, et le polymère d'acrylate de l'élément de support possédant une solubilité inférieure au polymère d'acrylate expansible à l'eau, insoluble dans l'eau.
     
    2. Composition selon la revendication 1, le polymère hydrophile étant choisi parmi les poly(N-vinyl lactames), les poly(N-vinyl amides), les poly(N-alkylacrylamides), les poly(acides acryliques), les poly(acides méthacryliques), le poly(alcool vinylique), la polyvinylamine, et des copolymères et des mélanges correspondants.
     
    3. Composition selon la revendication 1, l'oligomère complémentaire étant choisi parmi les alcools polyhydriques, les alkylèneglycols monomériques et oligomériques, les polyalkylèneglycols, les polyalkylèneglycols à terminaison carboxyle, les polyalkylèneglycols à terminaison amino, les éthers alcools, les alcanediols, et les diacides carboniques.
     
    4. Composition selon la revendication 1, les quantités relatives du polymère expansible à l'eau, insoluble dans l'eau, du polymère hydrophile, et de l'oligomère complémentaire étant choisies de sorte à rendre l'hydrogel translucide.
     
    5. Composition selon la revendication 1, l'hydrogel étant un solide, un liquide ou un gel.
     
    6. Composition selon la revendication 5, qui comprend environ 0,1 à 60 % en poids de l'agent actif.
     
    7. Composition selon la revendication 5, qui comprend environ 1 à 20 % en poids du polymère expansible à l'eau insoluble dans l'eau lorsque l'hydrogel est un solide ou environ 0,1 à 20 % en poids du polymère expansible à l'eau insoluble dans l'eau lorsque l'hydrogel est un liquide ou un gel.
     
    8. Composition selon la revendication 5, qui comprend environ 20 à 80 % en poids du polymère hydrophile lorsque l'hydrogel est un solide ou environ 1 à 40 % en poids du polymère hydrophile lorsque l'hydrogel est un liquide ou un gel.
     
    9. Composition selon la revendication 5, qui comprend environ 10 à 50 % en poids de l'oligomère complémentaire lorsque l'hydrogel est un solide ou environ 0,1 à 20 % en poids de l'oligomère complémentaire lorsque l'hydrogel est un liquide ou un gel.
     
    10. Composition selon la revendication 1, l'élément de support s'érodant dans l'environnement moite environ 12 à 24 heures après que l'hydrogel s'est érodé.
     
    11. Composition selon la revendication 1, l'élément de support s'érodant au moins environ 25 % plus lentement que l'hydrogel.
     
    12. Composition selon la revendication 1, l'agent actif étant un agent de blanchiment choisi dans le groupe constitué par les peroxydes, les chlorites métalliques, les perborates, les percarbonates, les peroxyacides, et des combinaisons correspondantes.
     
    13. Procédé pour le blanchiment des dents comprenant : l'application de la composition selon la revendication 12 aux dents ayant besoin de blanchiment.
     






    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description