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Polymers 2019, 11(3), 501;

Controlled Electron-Beam Synthesis of Transparent Hydrogels for Drug Delivery Applications

Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM), Permoserstraße 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels and Gels for Biomedical and Sustainable Applications)
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In this study, we highlight hydrogels prepared by electron-beam polymerization. In general, the electron-beam-polymerized hydrogels showed improved mechanical and optical transmittances compared to the conventional UV-cured hydrogels. They were more elastic and had a higher crosslinking density. Additionally, they were transparent over a broader wavelength range. The dependence of the mechanical and optical properties of the hydrogels on the number of single differential and total irradiation doses was analyzed in detail. The hydrogels were prepared for usage as a drug delivery material with methylene blue as a drug model. In the first set of experiments, methylene blue was loaded reversibly after the hydrogel synthesis. Electron-beam-polymerized hydrogels incorporated twice as much methylene blue compared to the UV-polymerized gels. Furthermore, the release of the model drug was found to depend on the crosslinking degree of the hydrogels. In addition, electron-beam polymerization enabled the irreversible binding of the drug molecules if they were mixed with monomers before polymerization.
Keywords: electron beam; polymerization; hydrogels; PEDGA; crosslinking degree; drug delivery electron beam; polymerization; hydrogels; PEDGA; crosslinking degree; drug delivery

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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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Glass, S.; Kühnert, M.; Abel, B.; Schulze, A. Controlled Electron-Beam Synthesis of Transparent Hydrogels for Drug Delivery Applications. Polymers 2019, 11, 501.

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