ACS Applied Polymer Materials, vol.4, no.3, pp.1717-1727, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022 American Chemical SocietyBiofunctionality and biocompatibility are essential when tissue or organs are supplemented or replaced with a polymer based material. Here, we prepared stearyl methacrylate (SM) and vinylpyrrolidone (VP) based biocompatible SM-x networks with self-healing and shape memory properties. The mole ratios were gradually changed from hydrophilic to hydrophobic units between 10 and 90% to obtain gels meeting the requirements in various potential bioapplications. In addition to having a time-dependent viscoelastic character, the mechanical properties of the gels can be controlled by the amount of SM introduced into the reaction medium. Low SM content gels cannot fully return to their initial modulus values, while the gels formed with concentrations ≥60% are completely reversible due to the dynamic hydrophobic interactions, which is also effective in the self-healing behavior. Moreover, all of the networks can completely recall their permanent shape in seconds. The viability of human skin fibroblast cells, seeded on SM-x hydrogels, closely related to the water contact angle of the structures, was found to be over 82% at all x values. In the light of the findings, the wide range of properties of SM-x gel samples may show significant potential to address needs in a variety of biomedical applications.