Understanding the behavior of three component polyampholyte hydrogels for tissue engineering applications
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The development of materials with nonfouling characteristics and good mechanical properties has been a target in the tissue engineering field over the last decade. This work aims to demonstrate that polyampholyte hydrogels prepared with equimolar quantities of positively charged and negatively charged monomers are an ideal biomaterial for tissue engineering applications. The positively charged monomer was chosen to be [2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl] trimethylammonium chloride (TMA), while the negatively charged one included 2-carboxyethyl acrylate (CAA) and 3-sulfopropyl methacrylate potassium salt (SA). The hydrogels were synthesized with different monomer combinations and cross-linker densities. The physical and chemical properties of the hydrogels were characterized, including swelling, hydration and mechanical strength. The fouling resistance of hydrogels with different monomer ratios was determined. The capability to facilitate protein conjugation was assessed using EDC/NHS conjugation chemistry. The results shows that the polyampholyte hydrogels have tailorable mechanical strength, strong nonfouling performance and high protein conjugation level, which proves its potential for biomedical applications in the tissue engineering field.