Medical Applications of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Cryogels

  • S. Reiter
  • R. Mongrain
  • M. Abdelali
  • J.-C. TardifEmail author


Cryo-treatment of polymeric hydrogels, such as poly(vinyl alcohol) cryogels (PVA-C), have long been developed for a variety of medical applications. In the case of PVA-C the simplicity of its fabrication in its most basic form, obtained through a series of freezing and thawing cycles from low to room temperatures, along with its highly tailored microstructure, soft-tissue-like mechanical properties, and excellent biocompatibility makes it one of the most promising medical hydrogels researched today. In this chapter, we discuss the properties of soft tissues, with an emphasis on human vasculature, as a preamble for our investigation of current techniques in PVA-C manufacturing. The mechanical properties of PVA-C are then presented, outlining its behavior with varying cryo-treatments and PVA concentrations. We then highlight an example of PVA-C used for a coronary imaging phantom, and lastly provide brief examples of PVA-C and its derivatives in a variety of biomedical applications.


Poly(vinyl alcohol) cryogel Vasculature elasticity Freeze–thaw cycles Coronary phantoms Tissue scaffolds 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Reiter
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Mongrain
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Abdelali
    • 2
    • 3
  • J.-C. Tardif
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of AtherosclerosisMontreal Heart InstituteMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Départment de MédicineUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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