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Professor Todd Hoare

The Hoare lab works at the interface of polymer science, physical chemistry, and biology, aiming to design novel materials with “smart” properties precisely tuned to the environment and application in which the material is to be used. Our main expertise lies in the rational design of “smart” hydrogel-based materials on different length scales (i.e. bulk hydrogels, microgels, and nanogels) based on a fundamental understanding of the structure-property relationships in such materials. To achieve this understanding, we apply both the analytical tools of physical chemistry and the mathematical modeling tools of chemical engineering to predict microstructures prior to synthesis and then characterize (and optimize) the realized microstructures for specific applications. While most of our target applications lie within biomedical engineering (drug delivery, cell encapsulation, biomedical devices, biosensors, and tissue engineering), we also apply our engineered hydrogels in food, nutriceutical delivery, agricultural, and environmental applications. Our injectable or printable poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) technology is an example of the types of materials we make, representing easy-to-deliver and use materials that can facilely tune the bulk and interfacial properties for biosensor and biomaterial applications. Specifically, our poly(OEGMA) hydrazide and aldehyde polymers can create highly protein-repellent interfaces and hydrophilic bulk phases while our 90:10 poly(M(EO)2MA:Poly(OEGMA) hydrazide and aldehyde polymers can create thermally switchable materials that can reversibly change pore size or cell affinity with temperature.

Laboratory for Engineered Smart Materials: The Hoare Lab at McMaster University

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Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada. Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada. Electronic address: hoaretr@mcmaster.ca.
Acta Biomater. 2014 Oct;10(10):4143-55. doi
The potential of poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) hydrogels with varying thermosensitivities as soft materials for biomedical applications is demonstrated. Hydrogels are prepared from hydrazide and aldehyde functionalized POEGMA precursors, yielding POEGMA hydrogels with a volume phase transition temperature (VPTRead More
Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L7. hoaretr@mcmaster.ca.
Chem Commun (Camb). 2014 Mar 28;50(25):3306-9. doi:
Injectable PEG-analogue hydrogels based on poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) have been developed based on complementary hydrazide and aldehyde reactive linear polymer precursors. These hydrogels display the desired biological properties of PEG, form covalent networks in situ following injection, and are easily modulated foRead More
Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University , Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L7, Canada.
J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Sep 17;136(37):12852-5. doi:
The passivation of nonspecific protein adsorption to paper is a major barrier to the use of paper as a platform for microfluidic bioassays. Herein we describe a simple, scalable protocol based on adsorption and cross-linking of poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) derivatives that reduces nonspecific adsorption of a Read More