Thermoresponsive nanocomposite hydrogels with cell-releasing behavior. Academic Article uri icon


  • Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) hydrogels become more hydrophobic when they reversibly switch from a water-swollen to a deswollen state above the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT, approximately 33 degrees C) which has been used to modulate cell adhesion. In the current work, we prepared novel thermoresponsive nanocomposite hydrogels comprised of a PNIPAAm hydrogel matrix and polysiloxane colloidal nanoparticles ( approximately 220 nm average diameter) via in situ photopolymerization of aqueous solutions of NIPAAm monomer, N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS, crosslinker), photoinitiator and polysiloxane nanoparticles (0.5-2.0 wt% based on solution weight) at approximately 7 degrees C. The VPTT of the nanocomposite hydrogels is not altered versus the pure PNIPAAm hydrogel. Dynamic mechanical analysis and tensile tests revealed that higher nanoparticle content generally produced improved hydrogel mechanical properties. Surfaces of nanocomposite hydrogels became increasingly more hydrophobic at all temperatures between 10 and 40 degrees C as the amount of hydrophobic polysiloxane nanoparticles was increased. When cooled from 37 to 25 degrees C, mouse smooth muscle precursor cells (10T1/2) were effectively detached from nanocomposite hydrogel surfaces. The utility of photopatterning to create surface micropillars comprised of nanocomposite hydrogels was demonstrated.

published proceedings

  • Biomaterials

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Hou, Y., Matthews, A. R., Smitherman, A. M., Bulick, A. S., Hahn, M. S., Hou, H., Han, A., & Grunlan, M. A.

citation count

  • 91

complete list of authors

  • Hou, Yaping||Matthews, Andrew R||Smitherman, Ashley M||Bulick, Allen S||Hahn, Mariah S||Hou, Huijie||Han, Arum||Grunlan, Melissa A

publication date

  • August 2008