A copolymer containing 88% 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), 9% poly(ethylene glycol) (MW 18.5 kDa) tetra-acrylate and 3% ethylene dimethacrylate was prepared and evaluated for use as a biocompatible interface between glucose biosensors and tissue in the rat. The glucose sensor utilizes glucose oxidase that is electrically 'wired' to a gold current collector by a reduction-oxidation polymer. Coatings of the copolymer were crosslinked in situ on the sensors using long wavelength ultraviolet light and 2,2-dimethoxy-2-phenyl-acetophenone as the initiator. The effect these films had on the current response to glucose was measured. Over a glucose concentration range of 0-30 mM, the average percentage decrease in response was 45 +/- 28% (mean +/- 95% confidence interval) at 37 degrees C for films that were about 0.1 mm thick, an acceptable value. Copolymer-treated and control electrodes were implanted in the intrascapular subcutaneous tissue of male Sprague-Dawley rats for three days. The explanted samples were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. The control electrodes were highly encapsulated with fibrous material, while the copolymer-treated electrodes induced much less encapsulation. The results show this copolymer to be a candidate as a biocompatible coating for electrically wired oxidoreductase-based subcutaneous biosensors. [on SciFinder (R)]