Infoscience

Journal article

Photopolymerizable hydrogels for implants: Monte-Carlo modeling and experimental in vitro validation

Photopolymerization is commonly used in a broad range of bioapplications, such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and surgical implants, where liquid materials are injected and then hardened by means of llumination to create a solid polymer network. However, photopolymerization using a probe, e.g., needle guiding both the liquid and the curing illumination, has not been thoroughly investigated. We present a Monte Carlo model that takes into account the dynamic absorption and scattering parameters as well as solid–liquid boundaries of the photopolymer to yield the shape and volume of minimally invasively injected, photopolymerized hydrogels. In the first part of the article, our model is validated using a set of well-known poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate hydrogels showing an excellent agreement between simulated and experimental volume-growthrates. In the second part, in situ experimental results and simulations for photopolymerization in tissue cavities are presented. It was found that a cavity with a volume of 152 mm3 can be photopolymerized from the output of a 0.28-mm2 fiber by adding scattering lipid particles while only a volume of 38 mm3 (25%) was achieved without particles. The proposed model provides a simple and robust method to solve complex photopolymerization problems, where the dimension of the light source is much smaller than the volume of the photopolymerizable hydrogel.

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