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Preparation and Characterization of Photocrosslinked DNA-PEG Hybrid Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications

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DNA can be utilized as structural components of hydrogels, which are widely used biomaterials in the human body. Recently, our lab developed soft DNA hydrogels, which were entirely constructed from branched DNA structure via enzyme ligation and were capable of encapsulating biological components. Here, we have synthesized and characterized a photocrosslinked DNA-PEG hybrid hydrogel. The construction of these hydrogels is distinctly different from enzyme-catalyzed DNA hydrogels in that acylate-functionalized branched DNA was used as structural building units. Also these hydrogels were constructed via a rapid photocrosslinking upon short UV illumination and remote activation process. Our DNA-PEG hybrid hydrogels were characterized by employing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gel electrophoresis, swelling measurements, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), mechanical analysis and drug release experiments. Our hydrogels possess the unique advantages of increased mechanical strength and adjustable internal network structure by controlling the initial concentration of PEG momoners. We envision that the photocrosslinked DNA-PEG hybrid hydrogels can be utilized in a variety of biomedical applications including drug delivery and tissue engineering.

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2012-01-08

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hydrogel; DNA hydrogel

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