The swelling properties and thermal transition of hydrogels can be tailored by changing the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of polymer networks. Especially, poly(N
-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) has received attention as thermo-responsive hydrogels for tissue engineering because its hydrophobicity and swelling property are transited around body temperature (32 °C). In this study, we investigated the potential of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) as a hydrophilic co-monomer and crosslinker of PNIPAm to enhance biological properties of PNIPAm hydrogels. The swelling ratios, lower critical solution temperature (LCST), and internal pore structure of the synthesized p(NIPAm-co
-PEGDA) hydrogels could be varied with changes in the molecular weight of PEGDA and the co-monomer ratios (NIPAm to PEGDA). We found that increasing the molecular weight of PEGDA showed an increase of pore sizes and swelling ratios of the hydrogels. In contrast, increasing the weight ratio of PEGDA under the same molecular weight condition increased the crosslinking density and decreased the swelling ratios of the hydrogels. Further, to evaluate the potential of these hydrogels as cell sheets, we seeded bovine chondrocytes on the p(NIPAm-co
-PEGDA) hydrogels and observed the proliferation of the seed cells and their detachment as a cell sheet upon a decrease in temperature. Based on our results, we confirmed that p(NIPAm-co
-PEGDA) hydrogels could be utilized as cell sheets with enhanced cell proliferation performance.
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