Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Tuning the Hydrophobicity of a Hydrogel by Self-assembly of Polymer Cross-linkers

Version 1 : Received: 10 April 2019 / Approved: 11 April 2019 / Online: 11 April 2019 (08:58:09 CEST)

How to cite: Kim, H.; Cho, S.; Oh, S.J.; Shin, S.G.; Ryu, H.W.; Jeong, J.H. Tuning the Hydrophobicity of a Hydrogel by Self-assembly of Polymer Cross-linkers. Preprints 2019, 2019040138 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0138.v1). Kim, H.; Cho, S.; Oh, S.J.; Shin, S.G.; Ryu, H.W.; Jeong, J.H. Tuning the Hydrophobicity of a Hydrogel by Self-assembly of Polymer Cross-linkers. Preprints 2019, 2019040138 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0138.v1).

Abstract

Hydrogels incorporated with hydrophobic motifs have received considerable attention to recapitulate the cellular microenvironments, specifically for the bio-mineralization of a 3D matrix. Introduction of hydrophobic motifs into a hydrogel often results in irregular arrangement of the motifs, and further phase separation of hydrophobic domains, but limited efforts have been made to resolve this challenge in the hydrophobically-modified hydrogel. Therefore, this study presents an advanced integrative strategy to incorporate hydrophobic domains regularly in a hydrogel by self-assembling of polymer cross-linkers, building blocks of a hydrogel. Self-assemblies between polymer cross-linkers were examined as micro-domains to incorporate hydrophobic motifs in a hydrogel. The self-assembled structures in a pre-gelled solution were confirmed with the fluorescence analysis and the hydrophobicity of a hydrogel could be tuned by incorporating the motifs in a controlled manner. Overall, the results of this study would greatly serve to tuning performance of a wide array of hydrophobically-modified hydrogels in drug delivery, cell therapies and tissue engineering.

Subject Areas

hydrogel; hydrophobicity; self-assembly; degree of swelling

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