Idriss Blakey - Novel Supramolecular Hydrogels as Artificial Vitreous Substitutes.

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Lee-Wang, H. H.; Blakey, I.; Chirila, T. V.; Peng, H.; Rasoul,   F.; Whittaker, A. K.; Dargaville, B. L., Macromol. Symp. 2010,   296 229-232.

      DOI: 10.1002/masy.201051032


      The possibility of employing self-healing gels as potential   artificial  vitreous substitutes is being explored.   Advancement of traditional  synthetic hydrogels as vitreous   substitutes is hindered by their  fragmentation upon   injection into the vitreous cavity leading ultimately  to   inflammation. Preliminary work involved developing first   generation  self-healing gels, using amphiphilic tri-block   copolymers of  poly(propylene   glycol)-block-poly(ethylene   glycol)-block-poly(propylene  glycol) (PPG-PEG-PPG)   as the building block. Eight linear self-healing  gels are   synthesized by tethering an ureidopyrimidinone system to    synthetically modified PPG-PEG-PPG via the formation of a   bis-urea as a  linker. The reversible nature of the hydrogen   bonds permits alteration  of their physical properties by   changing the environment, yet retaining  desirable   characteristics. Despite low solubility in water, these    polymers demonstrated associating behaviour under the   investigated  conditions, which is encouraging. Future   generations of self-healing  gels should involve the   selection of a more hydrophilic core and/or  star-like   polymers to facilitate gel formation and strengthen the    network.

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