In Situ-Forming Polyamidoamine Dendrimer Hydrogels with Tunable Properties Prepared Via Aza-Michael Addition Reaction


In this work, we describe synthesis and characterization of novel in situ-forming polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer hydrogels (DHs) with tunable properties prepared via highly efficient aza-Michael addition reaction. PAMAM dendrimer G5 was chosen as the underlying core and functionalized with various degrees of acetylation using acetic anhydride. The nucleophilic amines on the dendrimer surface reacted with α, ß-unsaturated ester in acrylate groups of polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEG-DA, Mn = 575 g/mol) via aza-Michael addition reaction to form dendrimer hydrogels without the use of any catalyst. The solidification time, rheological behavior, network structure, swelling, and degradation properties of the hydrogel were tuned by adjusting the dendrimer surface acetylation degree and dendrimer concentration. The DHs were shown to be highly cytocompatible and support cell adhesion and proliferation. We also prepared an injectable dendrimer hydrogel formulation to deliver the anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and demonstrated that the injectable formulation efficiently inhibited tumor growth following intratumoral injection. Taken together, this new class of dendrimer hydrogel prepared by aza-Michael addition reaction can serve as a safe tunable platform for drug delivery and tissue engineering.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


This work was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation (CAREER Award CBET0954957) and the National Institutes of Health (Grant R01EY024072).

Keywords and Phrases

click chemistry; dendrimer; in situ forming; injectable hydrogel; localized chemotherapy

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1944-8244; 1944-8252

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

29 Mar 2017

PubMed ID