Macroporous interpenetrating cryogel network of poly(acrylonitrile) and gelatin for biomedical applications
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Cryogels are supermacroporous gel network formed by cryogelation of appropriate monomers or polymeric precursors at subzero temperature. The beneficial feature of this system is a unique combination of high porosity with adequate mechanical strength and osmotic stability, due to which they are being envisaged as potential scaffold material for various biomedical applications. One of the important aspect of cryogel is simple approach by which they can be synthesized and use of aqueous solvent for their synthesis which make them suitable for different biological applications. Various modifications of the cryogels have been sought which involves coupling of various ligands to its surfaces, grafting of polymer chain to cryogel surface or interpenetrating networks of two or more polymers to form a cryogel which provides diversity of its applications. In the following work we have synthesized full interpenetrating network of polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-gelatin with varied gelatin concentration. The PAN-gelatin cryogel interpenetrating network is macroporous in nature and has high percentage swelling equlibirium in the range of 862–1,200 with a flow rate greater than 10 ml/min, which characterizes the interconnectivity of pores and convective flow within the network. PAN-gelatin interpenetrating cryogel network has good mechanical stability as determined by Young’s modulus which varies from 123 kPa to 819 kPa depending upon the polymer concentration. Moreover they are shown to be biocompatible and support cell growth within the scaffolds.
The work was financially supported from Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of Indian organizations. EJ would like to thank IITK for granting fellowship during the Ph.D. programme. AS gratefully acknowledges the fellowship received from University grants commission, India.