Tuning biodegradable hydrogel properties via synthesis procedure

Ashley M. Hawkins, Melanie E. Tolbert, Brittany Newton, Todd A. Milbrandt, David A. Puleo, J. Zach Hilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Biodegradable hydrogels have become a rapidly expanding area of research for biomedical applications. Poly(β-amino ester) (PBAE) biodegradable hydrogels, in particular, have been studied extensively because of the ease of synthesis and range of properties exhibited. In this work, PBAE macromers were created with poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA), diethylene glycol diacrylate (DEGDA), and isobutylamine. Many methods have been presented that allow control over the resulting hydrogel behavior. Here, properties were varied by combining multiple diacrylate components in the macromer synthesis step (single macromer (SM)) or through the combination of multiple macromers prior to polymerization (double macromer (DM)). The exhibited properties are a result of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic contributions of the different diacrylate molecules to the macromer. The SM systems exhibited linear degradation profiles, the rate of degradation increased as the PEGDA concentration increased. DM systems exhibited a multiphase degradation profile as a result of the combination of macromers with different hydrophilic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4422-4426
Number of pages5
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 2 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education Research and Traineeship (IGERT) , the NSF research experience for undergraduates (REU) program , and the Orthopaedic Research & Education Foundation-Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (OREF-POSNA) for funding this research. We would also like to thank Prachi Gupta for her assistance on the gel permeation chromatography.


  • Biodegradable hydrogel
  • Hydrophilic/hydrophobic
  • Poly(β-amino ester)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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