Thermoreversible copolymer gels for extracellular matrix

Brent Vernon, Sung Wan Kim, You Han Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


To improve the properties of a reversible synthetic extracellular matrix based on a thermally reversible polymer, copolymers of N-isopropylacrylamide and acrylic acid were prepared in benzene with varying contents of acrylic acid (0 to 3%) and the thermal properties were evaluated. The poly(N- isopropylacrylamide) and copolymers made with acrylic acid had molecular weights from 0.8 to 1.7 x 106 D. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed the high-molecular-weight acrylic acid copolymers had similar onset temperatures to the homopolymers, but the peak width was considerably increased with increasing acrylic acid content. DSC and cloud point measurements showed that polymers with 0 to 3% acrylic acid exhibit a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) transition between 30°and 37°C. In swelling studies, the homopolymer showed significant syneresis at temperatures above 31°C. Copolymers with 1 and 1.5% showed syneresis beginning at 32°and 37°C, respectively. At 37°C the copolymers with 1.5-3% acrylic acid showed little or no syneresis. Due to the high water content and a transition near physiologic conditions (below 37°C), the polymers with 1.5-2.0% acrylic acid exhibited properties that would be useful in the development of a refillable synthetic extracellular matrix. Such a matrix could be applied to several cell types, including islets of Langerhans, for a biohybrid artificial pancreas. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrylic acid
  • Biohybrid artificial pancreas
  • N-isopropylacrylamide
  • Thermal reversibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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