Light-induced tailoring of PEG-hydrogel properties

Fotios M. Andreopoulos, Eric J. Beckman, Alan J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


We have previously reported the synthesis of hydrogels via the photopolymerization of water-soluble PEG molecules. In this paper, PEG-hydrogel membranes were prepared by the irradiation (> 300 nm) of aqueous solutions of photosensitive 4-armed PEG (nominal molecular weight of 20,000), in the absence of photoinitiators. The hydroxyl termini of the PEG's were functionalized with cinnamylidene acetate groups to form photosensitive PEG macromers (PEG-CA), which upon irradiation (> 300 nm) formed crosslinks between adjacent cinnamylidene groups resulting in highly crosslinked networks (hydrogels). The hydrogel membranes were highly swellable with equilibrium volume fractions ranging from 0.02 to 0.05. Their swellability was a function of irradiation light (> 300 nm) and degree of modification of the PEG molecules. The effect of light on the permeation fluxes of myoglobin (Mb), hemoglobin (Hb), and lactate dehydrogenase-L (LDH) through PEG membranes was also assessed and the diffusion coefficients of the proteins were determined accordingly. The PEG-CA membranes exhibited photoscissive behavior upon exposure to UV irradiation (254 nm). Therefore, UV light was used as a trigger to control the mesh size of the membranes, and thereby the permeation fluxes of Mb, Hb, and LDH. Equilibrium swelling experiments with membranes prepared under different irradiation conditions were performed, and the Flory-Huggins model was utilized to determine the mesh size and the average molecular weight between crosslinks of the synthesized hydrogels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1352
Number of pages10
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusion coefficients
  • Hydrogels
  • Photoscission
  • Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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