Synthesis and characterization of bioactive PEGDM hydrogels
Polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate (PEGDM) was prepared by the reaction of PEG-hydroxyl endgroup and methacrylic anhydride. The protein integrin-binding domain of fibronectin (GRGDS peptide sequence), prepared by FMOC chemistry, was covalently linked to a methacrylate endgroup via the reaction with glycidyl methacrylate. The product RGD-MA was confirmed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and 1H NMR. The PEGDM and RGD-MA were copolymerized in water or growth media to form bioactive hydrogels. Preliminary studies showed significant differences in cell adhesion to hydrogels with and without RGD incorporation.