Suspension polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate: a route for swellable spherical gel beads with controlled hydrophilicity and functionality

Tuncel A.

COLLOID AND POLYMER SCIENCE, vol.278, no.12, pp.1126-1138, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 278 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s003960000317
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1126-1138
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Spherical and swellable gel beads were obtained by the suspension polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate macromonomer (PEG-MA). The average size and size distribution properties, the equilibrium swelling behaviour and the protein adsorption characteristics of PEG-MA-based gel beads were determined. In the suspension polymerization system, the organic phase including monomer, crosslinker and diluent solution was dispersed in an aqueous medium by using poly(vinylpyrrolidone) as the stabilizer. The diluent solution was prepared by mixing cyclohexanol and octanol at different volume ratios. The suspension polymerization experiments were designed in two separate parts. In the first part, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate was selected as the cross-linker and swellable PEG-MA-based gel beads were obtained by changing the cross-linker concentration, the monomer/diluent ratio and the stirring rate. In the second part, a more hydrophobic structure, divinylbenzene (DVB) was tried as a cross-linker. In this part, PEG-MA-DVB copolymer beads were obtained by changing the DVB,PEG-MA feed ratio. Then, the hydrophicility of the resulting gel beads could be controlled by changing the feed ratio of hydrophilic macromonomer to hydrophobic cross-linker. This property was also used to control the extent of nonspecific protein adsorption onto the surface of the gel beads. The non specific albumin adsorption onto the gel beads decreased with increasing PEG-MA content. No significant nonspecific adsorption at the isoelectric point of albumin was detected onto the gel beads produced with the higher PEG-MA/DVB feed ratios. For specific albumin adsorption, a triazinyl dye (i.e., cibacron blue, CB F3G-A) was covalently attached onto the surface of the copolymer beads via terminal hydroxyl groups of PEG-MA. The results of albumin adsorption experiments with the CB F3G-A carrying beads indicated that an appreciable specific albumin adsorption capacity could be obtained with the gel beads produced with a PEG-MA/DVB feed ratio of 1.5/4.0.