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Although physically cross-linked poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) hydrogels have tunable mechanical properties to match that of soft tissues, such as vascular tissue, their hydrophilic nature is not conducive to cell adhesion and spreading. For applications such as small diameter vascular grafts for coronary bypass both mechanical matching and hemocompatibility are important. Poly(amic acid) (PAA), derived from ethylene diamine tetraacetic dianhydride, is a cell-compatible polymer. It was grafted/cross-linked onto physically cross-linked PVA to provide cell compatibility. Functionalization was achieved via a one-step esterification reaction using 1,3-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide as the coupling agent and 4-dimethylaminopyridine as the catalyst. The success of the grafting reaction was verified using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The mechanical properties of the starting PVA hydrogel were largely preserved after the grafting reaction within the physiological strain range of vascular tissue. In vitro cell culture studies using primary porcine endothelial cells confirmed cell compatibility of the PAA graft PVA hydrogel, making it an attractive candidate for small diameter vascular graft development. Copyright © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Donna T Padavan, Amanda M Hamilton, Leonardo E Millon, Derek R Boughner, Wankei Wan. Synthesis, characterization and in vitro cell compatibility study of a poly(amic acid) graft/cross-linked poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel. Acta biomaterialia. 2011 Jan;7(1):258-67

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PMID: 20688197

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