Biocompatible and bioadhesive hydrogels based on 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, monofunctional poly(alkylene glycol)s and itaconic acid
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Novel poly(Bisomer/HEMA/IA) hydrogels were prepared by radical copolymerization of poly(alkylene glycol) (meth)acrylates, i.e. short chains Bisomers, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and itaconic acid (IA) in a mixture of water/ethanol as solvent. These hydrogels were characterized in terms of swelling in conditions similar to the biological fluids (pH range 2.20-7.40 buffer solutions), compression-strain measurements, thermal properties and morphology. The influence of the type of Bisomer and of the itaconic acid on swelling and mechanical properties, as well as on morphology and thermal behavior of the resulting hydrogels, were investigated. The in vitro study of biocompatibility, carried out with the hydrogels containing different types of Bisomers, showed no evidence of cell toxicity nor any considerable hemolytic activity. All hydrogels showed satisfactory bioadhesive properties, so these materials have potential as drug carriers or biological glue and sealants.