Main content area

Self-Healing and Thermoresponsive Dual-Cross-Linked Alginate Hydrogels Based on Supramolecular Inclusion Complexes

Miao, Tianxin, Fenn, Spencer L., Charron, Patrick N., Oldinski, Rachael A.
Biomacromolecules 2015 v.16 no.12 pp. 3740-3750
alginates, beta-cyclodextrin, body temperature, cell transplantation, chemical elements, crosslinking, drugs, hydrogels, hydrophilicity, mechanical properties, mixing, polyethylene glycol, polypropylenes, shear stress
β-Cyclodextrin (β-CD), with a lipophilic inner cavity and hydrophilic outer surface, interacts with a large variety of nonpolar guest molecules to form noncovalent inclusion complexes. Conjugation of β-CD onto biomacromolecules can form physically cross-linked hydrogel networks upon mixing with a guest molecule. Herein, the development and characterization of self-healing, thermoresponsive hydrogels, based on host–guest inclusion complexes between alginate-graft-β-CD and Pluronic F108 (poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(propylene glycol)-b-poly(ethylene glycol)), are described. The mechanics, flow characteristics, and thermal response were contingent on the polymer concentration and the host–guest molar ratio. Transient and reversible physical cross-linking between host and guest polymers governed self-assembly, allowing flow to occur under shear stress and facilitating complete recovery of the material’s properties within a few seconds of unloading. The mechanical properties of the dual-cross-linked, multi-stimuli-responsive hydrogels were tuned as high as 30 kPa at body temperature and are advantageous for biomedical applications such as drug delivery and cell transplantation.