Synthesis of Novel Degradable  PEG-dimercaptocarboxylate Crosslinkers for PEG-based Hydrogels

Synthesis of Novel Degradable PEG-dimercaptocarboxylate Crosslinkers for PEG-based Hydrogels

Student(s):

Aaron Stock, Biomedical Engineering

Advisor(s):

Gary Bledsoe, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Degradable hydrogels are promising vehicles in the areas of controlled drug delivery and in tissue engineering, since degradability would expand the range of drugs that can be delivered, and would facilitate tissue regeneration under appropriate conditions. The class of degradable hydrogels in development involves 4-arm PEG-acrylate crosslinked with a family of alkyl-substituted PEG-dimercaptocarboxylates. The rate of hydrogel degradation can be tuned by changing the identity of the particular alkyl-substituent, where bulkier alkyl groups would yield slower degradation, and less bulky ones, the opposite.