Juyi Li1 Erica Inyoung Choi3 Christina Tong2 Miriam Rafailovich1

1, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States
3, St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire, United States
2, Fairview High School, Boulder, Colorado, United States

Periodontitis is a highly prominent issue in dental health today and the current solutions such as Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR), or the use of a barrier membrane to separate the alveolar bone and gums, have many shortcomings. These barrier layers can be composed of hydrogels, 3D cross-linked polymeric networks that are used for regenerative medicine; hydrogels are showing very promising applications in the biomedical field due to their biocompatibility and unique properties. Our previous work showed a promising hybrid gel synthesized with gelatin and poloxamer F127. Polymerized multiblock poloxamers maintain the thermo-reversibility but with an improved mechanical property. This study focused on characterization of the multiblock poloxamers PF127, PF108, and PF98 and synthesis/characterization of hybrid gels using these poloxamers to evaluate their potency. Rheology was used to characterize the poloxamer solutions and hybrid hydrogels, revealing that PF108 had a significantly higher elastic modulus compared to the other gels. The laser microscope imaging showed a unique, branching fiber structure of the PF108 hybrid gel, while the structures of the other hybrid gels displayed gelatin mesh networks. The PF108 hybrid hydrogel also showed significantly lower surface roughness. This is associated with decreased cell attachment, thus, gelatin-PF108 hybrid gel may possess promising characteristics to serve as a better cell barrier layer.

[1]Jiang, Jun, et al. "Rheology of thermoreversible hydrogels from multiblock associating copolymers." Macromolecules41.10 (2008): 3646-3652.