High modulus hydrogels for ophthalmic and related biomedical applications

Tarnveer S. Bhamra, Brian J. Tighe, Jiffan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents three families of semi‐interpenetrating polymer network (SIPN) hydrogels based on an ester‐based polyurethane (EBPU) and hydrophilic monomers: N,N‐dimethylacrylamide (NNDMA), N‐vinyl pyrrolidone (NVP) and acryloylmorpholine (AMO) as potential materials for keratoprosthesis, orthokeratology and mini‐scleral lens application. Hydrogels sheets were synthesized via free‐radical polymerization with methods developed in‐house. SIPN hydrogels were characterized for their equilibrium water content, mechanical and surface properties. Three families of optically clear SIPN‐based hydrogels have been synthesized in the presence of water with >10% of composition attributable to EBPU. Water contents of SIPN materials ranged from 30% to 70%. SIPNs with ≤15% EBPU of total composition showed little influence to mechanical properties, whereas >15% EBPU contributed significantly to an increase in material stiffness. In the hydrated state, SIPNs with ≤15% EBPU of total composition show little difference in polar component (γp) of surface free energy, whereas for >15% EBPU there is a decrease in γp. The EBPU SIPN hydrogels display complementary material properties for keratoprosthesis, orthokeratology, and mini‐scleral applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1653
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of biomedical materials research: part B
Issue number5
Early online date8 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


  • hydrogel
  • semi‐interpenetrating polymer network
  • ester‐based polyurethane
  • optical clarity
  • ophthalmic biomaterial


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