Dual stimuli responsive glycidyl methacrylate chitosan-quaternary ammonium hybrid hydrogel and its bovine serum albumin release


Correspondence to: C. C. Chu (E-mail: cc62@cornell.edu)


A new family of cationic hybrid hydrogels from two new positively charged aqueous soluble precursors, glycidyl methacrylate-chitosan (GMA-chitosan), and 2-(acryloyloxy) ethyl trimethylammonium (AETA), was developed via a simple photocrosslinking fabrication method. These hybrid hydrogels have pendant quaternary ammonium functional groups on the AETA segments. The chemical composition of GMA-chitosan/AETA hybrid hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and their mechanical, swelling, and morphological properties were examined as a function of the composition of the hybrids as well as the effect of pH and ionic strength of the surrounding medium. GMA-chitosan/AETA hybrid hydrogels show a porous network structure with average pore diameter 20–50 μm. The compression moduli of these hybrid hydrogels ranged from 27.24 to 28.94 kPa, which are significantly higher than a pure GMA-chitosan (17.64 kPa). GMA-chitosan/AETA hybrid hydrogel shows pH/ionic strength responsive swelling behavior because of the presence of the positive charge pendant groups. These hybrid hydrogels showed a sustained BSA protein release and a significantly lower initial burst release than a pure GMA-chitosan hydrogel. The two aqueous soluble precursors and the cationic charge characteristics of the resulting GMA-chitosan/AETA hybrid hydrogels may suggest that this new family of biomaterials may have promising applications as the pH responsive protein drug delivery vehicles. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 3736–3745, 2013