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.
- SOLID-STATE NMR