One-step processing of hydrogels for mechanically robust and chemically desired features

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Christine E. Schmidt
Sarah M. Mayes

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United States Patent and Trademark Office


The application of a highly controlled, micron-sized, branched, porous architecture to enhance the handling properties and degradation rate of hydrogels is described in the instant invention. A previously described pattern created through one-step nucleated crystallization in a hydrogel film creates tunable mechanical properties and/or chemical stability for use in tissue engineering applications. The bulk mechanical properties and the degradation rate of the material can be tuned easily by the addition or subtraction of crystalline structure or by the addition and subtraction of backfill material, making this useful for a variety of applications. Relevant mechanical properties that can be tuned through the application of this unique porosity are moduli, elasticity, tensile strength, and compression strength. The method of the present invention can be applied to biopolymers and natural materials as well as synthetic materials.



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