An Injectable Hydrogel Prepared Using a PEG/Vitamin E Copolymer Facilitating Aqueous-Driven Gelation
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Hydrogels have been widely explored for biomedical applications, with injectable hydrogels being of particular interest for their ability to precisely deliver drugs and cells to targets. Although these hydrogels have demonstrated satisfactory properties in many cases, challenges still remain for commercialization. In this paper, we describe a simple injectable hydrogel based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and a vitamin E (Ve) methacrylate copolymer prepared via simple free radical polymerization and delivered in a solution of low molecular weight PEG and Ve as the solvent instead of water. The hydrogel formed immediately in an aqueous environment with a controllable gelation time. The driving force for gelation is attributed to the self-assembly of hydrophobic Ve residues upon exposure to water to form a physically cross-linked polymer network via polymer chain rearrangement and subsequent phase separation, a spontaneous process with water uptake. The hydrogels can be customized to give the desired water content, mechanical strength, and drug release kinetics simply by formulating the PEGMA-co-Ve polymer with an appropriate solvent mixture or by varying the molecular weight of the polymer. The hydrogels exhibited no significant cytotoxicity in vitro using fibroblasts and good tissue compatibility in the eye and when injected subcutaneously. These polymers thus have the potential to be used in a variety of applications where injection of a drug or cell containing depot would be desirable.
has subject area