Synthesis and Characterization of Injectable Sulfonate-Containing Hydrogels

Jue Liang, Bedia Begüm Karakoçak, Jessica J. Struckhoff, Nathan Ravi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Sulfonate-containing hydrogels are of particular interest because of their tunable mechanical and swelling properties, as well as their biological effects. Polysulfonate copolymers were synthesized by reacting 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS), acrylamide (AM), and acrylic acid (AA). We found that the incorporation rate of sulfonate-containing monomer and the molecular weight of the copolymer were significantly enhanced by increasing the ionic strength of the solution. We introduced thiol groups by modifying the pendant carboxylates or copolymerizing along with a disulfide-containing monomer. The thiol-containing copolymers were reacted with a 4-arm acrylamide-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) via a thiol-ene click reaction, which was mediated by a photoinitiator, a redox initiator, or a base-catalyzed Michael-Addition. We were able to tailor the storage modulus (33-1800 Pa) and swelling capacity (1-91 wt %) of the hydrogel by varying the concentration of the copolymers. We determined that the injectable sulfonate-containing hydrogels were biocompatible up to 20 mg/mL, as observed by an electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) technique, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay using three different cell lines: human retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19), fibroblasts (NIH 3T3), and Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4064-4074
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 12 2016


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