Characterization of the Network Structure of PEG Diacrylate Hydrogels Formed in the Presence of N-Vinyl Pyrrolidone

Chu Yi Lee, Fouad Teymour, Heinz Camastral, Nicola Tirelli, Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Donald L. Elbert, Georgia Papavasiliou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PEGDA hydrogels copolymerized with NVP using free-radical photopolymerization are used in biomedical applications. These networks consist of a poly(acrylate-co-vinyl pyrrolidone) backbone crosslinked with PEG chains whose crosslink density is dependent on the backbone molecular weight and composition. Insight into the network structure and characterization of the backbone molecular weight and composition is achieved by considering hydrogel degradation through ester bond hydrolysis resulting in the release of PEG and poly(acrylic acid-co-vinyl pyrrolidone). A model is developed to determine the influence of kinetic constants and phenomena on the backbone formation and is compared to experimental data. Results indicate that the backbone molecular weight is related to the amount of NVP and unaffected by polymerization time. PEG diacrylate hydrogels photopolymerized with NVP are used in biomedical applications. The network structure of these biomaterials is highly dependent on the molecular weight and composition of the copolymer backbone which dictates the resultant hydrogel properties. Insight into the copolymer backbone formation is achieved by hydrogel degradation and subsequent characterization of the degradation products using experimental measurements and computational modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-328
Number of pages15
JournalMacromolecular Reaction Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Backbone composition
  • Hydrogel
  • Kinetic modeling
  • Network structure
  • Polyethylene glycol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


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