Thermoreversible Hydrogels From RAFT-Synthesized BAB Triblock Copolymers: Steps Toward Biomimetic Matrices For Tissue Regeneration
Polymers and High Performance Materials
Narrowly dispersed, temperature-responsive BAB block copolymers capable of forming physical gels under physiological conditions were synthesized via aqueous reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The use of a difunctional trithiocarbonate facilitates the two-step synthesis of BAB copolymers with symmetrical outer blocks. The outer B blocks of the triblock copolymers consist of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and the inner A block consists of poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide). The copolymers form reversible physical gels above the phase transition temperature of PNIPAM at concentrations as low as 7.5 wt % copolymer. Mechanical properties similar to collagen, a naturally occurring polypeptide used as a three-dimensional in vitro cell growth scaffold, have been achieved. Herein, we report the mechanical properties of the gels as a function of solvent, polymer concentration, and inner block length. Structural information about the gets was obtained through pulsed field gradient NMR experiments and confocal microscopy.
Kirkland, S. E.,
Hensarling, R. M.,
McConaughy, S. D.,
Jarrett, W. L.,
McCormick, C. L.
(2008). Thermoreversible Hydrogels From RAFT-Synthesized BAB Triblock Copolymers: Steps Toward Biomimetic Matrices For Tissue Regeneration. Biomacromolecules, 9(2), 481-486.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/1528