Synthesis and Characterization of Zwitterionic Polymer Brush Functionalized Hydrogels with Ionic Responsive Coefficient of Friction

Allen O. Osaheni, Ariel Ash-Shakoor, Ivan Gitsov, Patrick T. Mather, Michelle M. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Freeze-thaw poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels (PVA-H) offer great potential for several biomedical applications due to their biomimetic mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Despite these advantages, the use of PVA-H for load bearing applications has been limited due to poor performance in boundary lubrication compared to natural tissue such as articular cartilage. Recently, zwitterionic polymer brushes have been shown to act as effective boundary lubricants on rigid substrates; however, to the best of our knowledge, the synergistic effects of zwitterionic brushes coupled with the biomimetic fluid load support exhibited by hydrogels have not been reported. We report here on our investigation involving the synthesis and characterization of two unique types of polymer brush functionalized PVA hydrogels. The zwitterionic polymers that were compared contained either [2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]dimethyl-3-sulfopropylammonium hydroxide, PMEDSAH, or 2-methacryloyloxyethylphosphorylcholine, PMPC, repeating units. Both hydrogels coated with zwitterionic polymers were found to be cytocompatible. We report further on micrometer-scale surface properties via water contact angle goniometry, surface roughness measurements, and scanning electron microscopy. Finally, the impact of brush functionalization on the mechanics of the tribologically enhanced gels is reported with comparison to natural articular cartilage within the context of Hertzian contact theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3932-3940
Number of pages9
JournalLangmuir
Volume36
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 14 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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