We report here studies of swelling, mechanics, and thermal stability of hydrogels consisting of 20 mol % methacrylamidophenylboronic acid (MPBA) and 80 mol % acrylamide (AAm), lightly crosslinked with methylenebisacrylamide (Bis). Swelling was measured in solutions of fixed ionic strength, but with varying pH values and fructose concentrations. Mechanics was studied by compression and hold. In the absence of sugar or in the presence of fructose, the modulus was mostly maintained during the hold period, while a significant stress relaxation was seen in the presence of glucose, consistent with reversible, dynamic crosslinks provided by glucose, but not fructose. Thermal stability was determined by incubating hydrogels at pH 7.4 at room temperature, and 37, 50, and 65◦C, and monitoring swelling. In PBS (phosphate buffered saline) solutions containing 9 mM fructose, swelling remained essentially complete for 50 days at room temperature, but decreased substantially with time at the higher temperatures, with accelerated reduction of swelling with increasing temperature. Controls indicated that over long time periods, both the MPBA and AAm units were experiencing conversion to different species.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: This work was sponsored in part by grants HD040366 and DK075739.
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Dynamic crosslinks
- Mechanical relaxation
- Thermal/ chemical degradation