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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 1999 Oct-Nov;10(10/11):641-8.

Resorbable polyacrylic hydrogels derived from vitamin E and their application in the healing of tendons.

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  • 1Hospital Principe de Asturias, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.


A hydrogel containing vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) was prepared by free radical polymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and alpha-tocopheryl methacrylate (VEMA), the latter being synthesized previously to its use. The hydrogel containing 20 wt % of VEMA showed equilibrium water content in the range of those of hydrogel networks, at any pH. The swelling of the hydrogel followed Fick's law, indicating that sorption of water molecules is controlled by diffusion, although the values of diffusion coefficients for the VEMA-containing hydrogel were lower than those of poly-HEMA in any medium. Surface characterization of the VEMA-containing hydrogel revealed a decrease in the surface energy of solid owing to a decrease of the polar component mainly. The application of finely powdered xerogel of HEMA-VEMA copolymer bearing 20 wt % of the vitamin E derivative gave a very fast and positive response showing an activated regeneration capacity, probably due to the stimulation of the cellular proliferation or the more plausible effect, the cellular protection associated to the antioxidant properties of the vitamin E residue.

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