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Polymers 2018, 10(2), 179;

Biocompatible Porous Polyester-Ether Hydrogel Scaffolds with Cross-Linker Mediated Biodegradation and Mechanical Properties for Tissue Augmentation

Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
O’Brien Institute Department, St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia
Current addresses: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3052 Australia; The University of Melbourne, Department of Pediatrics, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3052 Australia.
Current addresses: Department of Surgery, St Vincent’s Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia; Faculty Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria 3065, Australia.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine)
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Porous polyester-ether hydrogel scaffolds (PEHs) were fabricated using acid chloride/alcohol chemistry and a salt templating approach. The PEHs were produced from readily available and cheap commercial reagents via the reaction of hydroxyl terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) derivatives with sebacoyl, succinyl, or trimesoyl chloride to afford ester cross-links between the PEG chains. Through variation of the acid chloride cross-linkers used in the synthesis and the incorporation of a hydrophobic modifier (poly(caprolactone) (PCL)), it was possible to tune the degradation rates and mechanical properties of the resulting hydrogels. Several of the hydrogel formulations displayed exceptional mechanical properties, remaining elastic without fracture at compressive strains of up to 80%, whilst still displaying degradation over a period of weeks to months. A subcutaneous rat model was used to study the scaffolds in vivo and revealed that the PEHs were infiltrated with well vascularised tissue within two weeks and had undergone significant degradation in 16 weeks without any signs of toxicity. Histological evaluation for immune responses revealed that the PEHs incite only a minor inflammatory response that is reduced over 16 weeks with no evidence of adverse effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyester-ether; hydrogel; scaffold; biocompatible; biodegradation polyester-ether; hydrogel; scaffold; biocompatible; biodegradation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ozcelik, B.; Palmer, J.; Ladewig, K.; Facal Marina, P.; Stevens, G.W.; Abberton, K.; Morrison, W.A.; Blencowe, A.; Qiao, G.G. Biocompatible Porous Polyester-Ether Hydrogel Scaffolds with Cross-Linker Mediated Biodegradation and Mechanical Properties for Tissue Augmentation. Polymers 2018, 10, 179.

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