Preparation and Application of Radiation-Grafted Hydrogels as Biomaterials
Hydrogels refer to a class of water swollen, lightly cross-linked polymeric gels which have been mentioned often as useful biomaterials (e.g., 1,2). Although they may be used in bulk forms, as in the soft contact lens, there are many applications where the mechanical demands are too great for typical hydrogels, and then such materials are best used as coatings on stronger supports. Although some polymeric supports are readily coated by solution dip coating techniques (3), there are many polymers of biomedical interest which are not so easily coated. The technique of radiation grafting (e.g., 4) is especially suitable for depositing coatings of a wide variety of hydrophilic polymer compositions and thicknesses onto and within almost any shape or composition of support polymer (e.g., 5–14). Over the past three years* our group has been applying this method, using cobalt-60 radiation, to produce directly or precursors of a whole family of new biomaterials (6–8, 10–12). This paper describes some of the highlights of our studies; most details of materials and procedures may be found in these references.
KeywordsCaproic Acid Polymeric Support Monomer Mixture Mechanical Demand Additional Process Step
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