Mechanically strong double network photocrosslinked hydrogels from N,N-dimethylacrylamide and glycidyl methacrylated hyaluronan.

PMID 18272215


Hyaluronan (HA) is a natural polysaccharide abundant in biological tissues and it can be modified to prepare biomaterials. In this work, HA modified with glycidyl methacrylate was photocrosslinked to form the first network (PHA), and then a series of highly porous PHA/N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DAAm) hydrogels (PHA/DAAm) with high mechanical strength were obtained by incorporating a second network of photocrosslinked DAAm into PHA network. Due to the synergistic effect produced by double network (DN) structure, despite containing 90% of water, the resulting PHA/DAAm hydrogel showed a compressive modulus and a fracture stress over 0.5 MPa and 5.2 MPa, respectively. Compared to the photocrosslinked hyaluronan single network hydrogel, which is generally very brittle and fractures easily, the PHA/DAAm hydrogels are ductile. Mouse dermal fibroblast was used as a model cell line to validate in vitro non-cytotoxicity of the PHA/DAAm hydrogels. Cells deposited extracellular matrix on the surface of these hydrogels and this was confirmed by positive staining of Type I collagen by Sirius Red. The PHA/DAAm hydrogels were also resistant to biodegradation and largely retained their excellent mechanical properties even after 2 months of co-culturing with fibroblasts.

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