Poly(γ-glutamic acid) modulates the properties of poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel for biomedical applications

In this paper, a series of copolymer hydrogels were fabricated from methacrylated poly(γ-glutamic acid) (mPGA) and poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA). The effect of ionic strength and pH on the swelling behavior and mechanical properties of these hydrogels were studied in detail. Release of Rhodamine B as a model drug from the hydrogel was evaluated under varied pH. In vitro photoencapsulation of bovine cartilage chondrocytes was performed to assess the cytotoxicity of this copolymer hydrogel. The results revealed that the copolymer hydrogel is ionic- and pH-sensitive, and does not exhibit acute cytotoxicity; this copolymer hydrogel may have promising application as matrix for controlled drug release and scaffolding material in tissue engineering.