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Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Cryogels for Biomedical Applications

  • Wankei WanEmail author
  • A. Dawn Bannerman
  • Lifang Yang
  • Helium Mak
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 263)

Abstract

Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a hydrophilic and biocompatible polymer that can be crosslinked to form a hydrogel. When physically crosslinked using a freeze–thaw cycling process, the product hydrogel or cryogel (PVA-C) possesses unique mechanical properties that can be tuned to closely match those of soft tissues, thus making it an attractive candidate for biomedical and especially medical device applications. We review the freeze–thaw cycling process and processing parameters that impact on the properties of PVA-C and its nanocomposite products. Both the mechanical properties and diffusion properties relevant to biomedical application are discussed. Applications to orthopedic and cardiovascular devices are summarized and discussed. The concept of biomaterial–tissue hybrids that can impart the necessary hemocompatibility to PVA-C for cardiovascular device is introduced and demonstrated.

Keywords

Poly(vinyl alcohol) Physical crosslinking Cryogel Medical device Controlled release 

List of Abbreviations

BC

Bacterial cellulose

BSA

Bovine serum albumin

DMSO

Dimethyl sulfoxide

DP

Degree of polymerization

E

Young’s modulus

FITC

Fluorescein isothiocyanate

FT

Freeze–thaw

FTC

Freeze–thaw cycle

WIC

Water insoluble chitosan

IVD

Intervertebral disc

Nano-HA

Nanohydroxyapatite

NP

Nucleus pulposus

PAAm

Poly(acrylamide)

PEG

Poly(ethylene glycol)

PVA

Poly(vinyl alcohol)

PVA-C

Poly(vinyl alcohol) cryogel

PVA-BC

Poly(vinyl alcohol) bacterial cellulose composite

PVP

Polyvinyl pyrrolidone

RGD

Arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid

SANS

Small-angle neutron scattering

TEM

Transmission electron microscopy

UHMWPE

Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene

ULMP

Unfrozen liquid microphase

WSC

Water-soluble chitosan

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wankei Wan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. Dawn Bannerman
    • 1
  • Lifang Yang
    • 1
  • Helium Mak
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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