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Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogels are synthetic polymers which can be used as scaffolds for tissue engineering due to their biocompatibility and large water content. To improve their biodegradation properties, partial oxidation of PVA is achieved by means of different oxidizing agents, such as potassium permanganate, bromine and iodine. The effect of this process on hydrogels mechanical performance has not been fully investigated in view of tissue engineering applications. In this work, the time-dependent mechanical behavior of unmodified and partially oxidized PVA hydrogels is evaluated by means of uniaxial tensile and stress relaxation tests, to evaluate the effect of different oxidizing agents on the viscoelastic response. Tensile tests show an isotropic and almost-incompressible behavior, with a stiffness reduction after PVA oxidation. The time-dependent response of oxidized PVA is comparable to the one of unmodified PVA and is modeled as a quasi-linear viscoelastic behavior. Finite Element (FE) models of PVA samples are developed and numerical analyses are used to evaluate the effect of different strain rates on the mechanical response under uniaxial tension. This model can be exploited to predict the time-dependent mechanical behavior of partially oxidized PVA in tissue engineering application under tensile loading. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Silvia Todros, Silvia Barbon, Elena Stocco, Martina Favaron, Veronica Macchi, Raffaele De Caro, Andrea Porzionato, Piero G Pavan. Time-dependent mechanical behavior of partially oxidized polyvinyl alcohol hydrogels for tissue engineering. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 2022 Jan;125:104966

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PMID: 34798532

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