Comparison of covalently and physically cross-linked polyethylene glycol-based hydrogels for the prevention of postoperative adhesions in a rat model

Jennifer L. West, Jeffrey A. Hubbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


A covalently and a physicochemically cross-linked hydrogel, both based primarily on polyethylene glycol and both formed in situ, were compared side by side in a rat uterine horn devascularization and serosal injury model for efficacy in adhesion prevention. The primary difference between the two materials was the nature of their cross-linking. The covalently cross-linked hydrogel was a photopolymerized polyethylene glycol-co-lactic acid diacrylate, and the physically cross-linked hydrogel was a polyethylene glycol-co-polypropylene glycol, Poloxamer 407®. In the surgical model employed, application of the covalently cross-linked hydrogel reduced the extent of adhesion formation from 75 ± 10% in the control group to 16 ± 6% (mean ± s.d., P < 0.001). Application of the physically crosslinked hydrogel reduced adhesion formation to 38 ± 19% (P < 0.01). Retention of the two hydrogels upon the site of application was also evaluated. The covalently cross-linked hydrogel formed a continuous barrier upon the uterine horns for more than 4 d, while the physicochemically cross-linked hydrogel was present upon the uterine horns for less than 2 d. This difference in retention was probably the cause of the difference in efficacy and may be attributed to the nature of the cross-linking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1156
Number of pages4
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1995



  • Adhesion prevention
  • Hydrogels
  • Photopolymerization
  • Poloxamar 407
  • Polyethylene glycol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Composites

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