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Self-Healing and Injectable Shear Thinning Hydrogels Based on Dynamic Oxaborole-Diol Covalent Cross-Linking

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posted on 10.10.2016, 00:00 by Yinan Wang, Lin Li, Yohei Kotsuchibashi, Sergey Vshyvenko, Yang Liu, Dennis Hall, Hongbo Zeng, Ravin Narain
Hydrogels containing sugar and oxaborole residues with remarkable self-healing properties were synthesized by free-radical polymerization in a facile and one pot process. The strong covalent interactions between the oxaborole residues and free adjacent hydroxyl groups of the pendent sugar residues of the glycopolymer allowed the in situ formation of hydrogels achievable under either neutral or alkaline conditions. These hydrogels showed excellent self-healing and injectability behaviors in aqueous conditions and were found to be responsive to both pH and the presence of free sugars (such as glucose) in solution. Furthermore, these hydrogels can easily be reconstructed from their lyophilized powder into any desired three-dimensional scaffold. Additionally, the hydrogels can be designed to have very low cytotoxicity and hence can be used as a scaffold for cell encapsulation. With these unique properties, these biocompatible, biodegradable, rebuildable, and self-healable hydrogels offer great potential in many biomedical applications.

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