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Self-Healing Injectable Polymer Hydrogel via Dynamic Thiol-Alkynone Double Addition Crosslinks

submitted on 28.02.2020, 10:03 and posted on 28.02.2020, 13:50 by bowen fan, Kai Zhang, Qian Liu, Rienk Eelkema

Introduction of dynamic thiol-alkynone double addition crosslinks in a polymer network enable the formation of a self-healing injectable polymer hydrogel. A 4-arm polyethylene glycol (PEG) tetra-thiol star polymer is crosslinked by a small molecule alkynone via the thiol-alkynone double adduct, to generate a hydrogel network under ambient aqueous conditions (buffer pH=7.4 or 8.2, room temperature). The mechanical properties of these hydrogels can be easily tuned by varying the concentration of polymer precursors. Through the dynamic thiol-alkynone double addition crosslink, these hydrogels are self-healing and shear thinning, as demonstrated by rheological measurements, macroscopic self-healing and injection tests. These hydrogels can be injected through a 20G syringe needle and recover after extrusion. In addition, good cytocompatibility of these hydrogels is confirmed by cytotoxicity test. This work shows the application of a new type of dynamic covalent chemistry in the straightforward preparation of self-healing injectable hydrogels, which may find future biomedical applications such as tissue engineering and drug delivery.


ERC Consolidator Grant 726381


Email Address of Submitting Author


Delft University of Technology



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

no conflict declared

Version Notes

pre-submission version