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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2019 Oct;107(10):2205-2221. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.36730. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Biodegradable, anti-adhesive and tough polyurethane hydrogels crosslinked by triol crosslinkers.

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College of Polymer Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


The mechanical and biodegradable properties of hydrogels are two essential properties for practical biomaterial applications. In this work, a series of biodegradable polyurethane (PU) hydrogels were successfully synthesized using two kinds of triol crosslinkers with different chain structures. One crosslinker is normal glycerol (GC) with short chain length, and the other is biodegradable poly (ε-caprolactone)-triol (CAPA) with long chain length. All PU hydrogels showed considerable water uptake around ~60%, excellent strength (above 3 MPa), advisable modulus (0.9~1.7 MPa), high elasticity (above 700%), as well as good biodegradability and biocompatibility. Hydrogen bonds served as reversible sacrificial bonds in the PU hydrogels endow them good toughness with partial hysteresis during deformation. The biodegradable long chain crosslinker CAPA can certainly accelerate the degradation of PU hydrogels compared with the GC crosslinked hydrogels. The degradation of these hydrogels was a process of continuous erosion from the surface to interior, which contributes to the high remain of mechanical properties after 30 days-degradation. Besides, the hydrogels also show excellent antifouling ability of protein and anti-adhesion of cells. Therefore, these hydrogels suggest great potential used as biological anti-adhesive membranes or catheters.


anti-adhesion; biodegradation; polyurethane hydrogel; tough; triol crosslinkers


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