Phosphodiester Hydrogels for Cell Scaffolding and Drug Release Applications

Rafael Dera, Hanne Diliën, Brecht Billen, Mick Gagliardi, Nastaran Rahimi, Nynke M. S. Van Den Akker, Daniel G. M. Molin, Christian Grandfils, Peter Adriaensens, Wanda Guedens, Thomas J. Cleij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Abstract Given the major structural role phosphodiesters play in the organism it is surprising they have not been more widely adopted as a building block in sophisticated biomimetic hydrogels and other biomaterials. The potential benefits are substantial: phosphoester-based materials show excellent compatibility with blood, cells, and a remarkable resistance to protein adsorption that may trigger a foreign-body response. In this work, a novel class of phosphodiester-based ionic hydrogels is presented which are crosslinked via a phosphodiester moiety. The material shows good compatibility with blood, supports the growth and proliferation of tissue and presents opportunities for use as a drug release matrix as shown with fluorescent model compounds. The final gel is produced via base-induced elimination from a phosphotriester precursor, which is made by the free-radical polymerization of a phosphotriester crosslinker. This crosslinker is easily synthesized via multigram one-pot procedures out of common laboratory chemicals. Via the addition of various comonomers the properties of the final gel may be tuned leading to a wide range of novel applications for this exciting class of materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1900090
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • biomaterials
  • hemocompatibility
  • hydrogels
  • phosphodiesters

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