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Structure-Property Relationships of Photopolymerizable Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Dimethacrylate Hydrogels



L G. Sheng, Ronald L. Jones, N Washburn, F Horkay


Photopolymerized hydrogels from poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDM) and similar derivatives have been examined extensively as scaffolds for tissue regeneration and other biological applications. A systematic investigation into the structure and mechanical properties of PEGDM hydrogels was performed to characterize the relationships between the network structure and gel properties. The molecular mass between crosslinks was controlled by changing the monomer molecular mass from approximately 1000 g/mol to 8000 g/mol and aqueous solutions were prepared having mass fractions of 10 %, 20 %, and 30 %. Small-angle neutron scattering was used to characterize the structural features of hydrogels with respect to their semidilute solution precursors. A well-defined structural length scale (correlation length) manifested as a maximum in the scattering intensity was observed for hydrogels derived from high molecular mass PEGDMs and/or high oligomer mass fractions.Hydrogels derived from lower molecular mass PEGDMs and/or low oligomer mass fractions exhibited multiple correlation lengths suggesting the formation of inhomogeneous gel structures. The shear moduli, determined from uniaxial compression measurement, showed that the gel structures correlate well with the gel mechanical properties. For hydrogels prepared with the same oligomer mass fraction but varied molecular mass and for hydrogels prepared with the same PEGDM but different mass fraction, the trends in shear modulus are consistent with those predicted by the theory of rubber elasticity.
No. 7


gel structure, hydrogel, mechanical property, neutron scattering, PEGDM, polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate, SANS


Sheng, L. , Jones, R. , Washburn, N. and Horkay, F. (2005), Structure-Property Relationships of Photopolymerizable Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Dimethacrylate Hydrogels, Macromolecules, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created March 31, 2005, Updated October 12, 2021