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Formulation and characterization of poloxamine-based hydrogels as tissue sealants.

Acta biomaterialia (2012-03-13)
Eunhee Cho, Jeoung Soo Lee, Ken Webb

In situ cross linkable polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based polymers play an increasing role in surgical practice as sealants that provide a barrier to fluid/gas leakage and adhesion formation. This study investigated the gelation behavior and physical properties of hydrogels formed from homogeneous and blended solutions of two acrylated poloxamines (Tetronics® T1107 and T904) of various molecular weights and hydrophilic/lipophilic balances relative to a PEG control. Hydrogels were formed by reverse thermal gelation at physiological temperature (T1107-containing formulations) and covalent crosslinking by Michael-type addition with dithiothreitol. All poloxamine-based hydrogels exhibited thermosensitive behavior and achieved significantly reduced swelling, increased tensile properties and increased tissue bond strength relative to the PEG hydrogel at physiological temperature. Swelling and tensile properties of all poloxamine-based hydrogels were significantly greater at 37°C relative to 4°C, suggesting that their improved physical properties derive from cooperative crosslinking by both noncovalent and covalent mechanisms. Poloxamine-based hydrogels were cytocompatible and underwent hydrolytic degradation over 2-5weeks, depending on their T1107/T904 composition. In conclusion, select poloxamine-based hydrogels possess a number of properties potentially beneficial to tissue sealant applications, including a substantial increase in viscosity between room/physiological temperatures, resistance to cell adhesion and maintenance of a stable volume during equilibration.