Injectable biodegradable hydrogels, which can be delivered in a minimally invasive manner and formed in situ, have found a number of applications in pharmaceutical and biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and tissue engineering. We have recently developed an in situ crosslinkable citric acid-based biodegradable poly(ethylene glycol) maleate citrate (PEGMC)/hydroxyapatite (HA) composite, which shows promise for use in bone tissue engineering. In this study, the mechanical properties of the PEGMC/HA composites were studied in dynamic linear rheology experiments. Critical parameters such as monomer ratio, crosslinker, initiator, and HA concentrations were varied to reveal their effect on the extent of crosslinking as they control the mechanical properties of the resultant gels. The rheological studies, for the first time, allowed us to investigate the physical interactions between HA and citric acid-based PEGMC. Understanding the viscoelastic properties of the injectable gel composites is crucial in formulating suitable injectable PEGMC/HA scaffolds for bone tissue engineering, and should also promote the other biomedical applications based on citric acid-based biodegradable polymers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics