Biocompatible and bioadhesive low molecular weight polymers containing long-arm catechol-functionalized methacrylate

Excellent adherence properties of blue mussels have been attributed to a catechol-containing amino acid, L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. This natural form of adhesion has been a source to develop bioadhesive polymers that adhere to biological interfaces. In this study, we describe a bioinspired approach for preparing bioadhesive and biocompatible materials based on synthetic low molecular weight copolymers of a flexible catechol-functionalized methacrylate (CEMA) and N-vinylcaprolactam. Copolymers with CEMA contents in the range 0.9–13.5 mol% were obtained by radical copolymerization. These systems show good biocompatibility and provide good antioxidant behavior and anti-inflammatory activity. Likewise, hydrogels prepared by mixture of a selected copolymer with gelatin possess good bone bioadhesive properties. These findings show that copolymer composition can be used as a tool for the preparation of biomedical systems with tunable properties and great potential for the development of drug delivery systems and bioactive gels that can be applied in tissue regeneration processes.

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