Synthesis and Characterization of Photocurable Polyamidoamine Dendrimer Hydrogels as a Versatile Platform for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery


In this work, we describe a novel polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer hydrogel (DH) platform with potential for tissue engineering and drug delivery. With PAMAM dendrimer G3.0 being the underlying carrier, polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains of various lengths (MW = 1500, 6000, or 12000 g mol-1) were coupled to the dendrimer to different extents, and the resulting PEGylated PAMAM dendrimers were further coupled with acrylate groups to yield photoreactive dendrimer macromonomers for gel formation. It was found that gelation based on photoreactive PAMAM G3.0 macromonomers was restricted by the degree of PEGylation, PEG chain length, and the distribution of acrylate groups on the dendrimer surface. Further, the architecture of the photoreactive macromonomers affects the structural stability and swelling of the resultant networks. A completely cross-linked network (DH-G3.0-12000H) with a high water swelling ratio was created by UV-curing of PAMAM dendrimer G3.0 coupled with 28 PEG 12000 chains in the presence of the eosin Y-based photoinitiating system. The disintegration of DH-G3.0-12000H was pH-insensitive. DH-G3.0-12000H was found to have similar cytocompatibility to un-cross-linked G3.0-12000H but a significantly lower cellular uptake by macrophages. With PAMAM dendrimer G3.5 being the underlying carrier, the dendrimer modified with 43 PEG 1500 chains was able to form a completely cross-linked network (DH-G3.5-1500H) by UV-curing in the presence of the eosin Y-based photoinitiating system. DH-G3.5-1500H exhibited pH-dependent disintegration. Its disintegration ratio increased with pH. PAMAM dendrimer hydrogels uniquely express the structural characteristics of both PEG hydrogel and PAMAM dendrimer and have potential for various applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Acrylate groups; Cellular uptake; Cross-linked networks; Cytocompatibility; Eosin Y; Gel formation; High water; Macro-monomers; PAMAM dendrimer; Peg hydrogel; PEgylation; PH-dependent; Photocurable; Photoinitiating systems; Polyamidoamine dendrimers; Structural characteristics; Structural stabilities; Synthesis and characterization; UV-curing, Coagulation; Curing; Drug delivery; Gelation; Hydrogels; Monomers; Photoreactivity; Polyethylene glycols; Polyethylene oxides; Stability; Tissue engineering, Dendrimers, acrylic acid; dendrimer; macrogol; polyamidoamine; PAMAM Starburst, article; cross linking; drug delivery system; hydrogel; photoreactivity; priority journal; synthesis; tissue engineering; ultraviolet radiation; animal; macrophage; metabolism; mouse; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; scanning electron microscopy, Animals; Dendrimers; Drug Delivery Systems; Hydrogels; Macrophages; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Mice; Microscopy, Electron, Scanning; Tissue Engineering; Ultraviolet Rays

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1525-7797; 1526-4602

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2010 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

08 Mar 2010

PubMed ID