Synthesis and characterization of an injectable copolymer hydrogel for cardiovascular applications
Shung, Albert Kang
Mikos, Antonios G.
Master of Science
In this thesis, a novel injectable copolymer hydrogel was developed that may be suitable for cardiovascular applications. This material consists of a triblock copolymer of poly(propylene fumarate) and poly(ethylene glycol). The first part of this work involved characterizing the kinetics of the poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) reaction using zinc chloride as a catalyst. The reaction kinetics were shown to be dependent on the reaction temperature. The second part of the work involved characterizing various properties of the hydrogel by varying components of the water soluble crosslinking system and the copolymer structure. The properties examined included equilibrium water content, sol fraction, mechanical strength, onset of gelation, molecular weight between crosslinks, and endothelial cell adhesion. In addition, these hydrogels were modified with bioactive peptides to test for their feasibility as a future promoter of endothelial cell adhesion and migration. The results from all these studies show that this novel injectable hydrogel may be suitable for cardiovascular applications and other tissue engineering applications.