Pharmaceutical Research vol:14 issue:12 pages:1730-1737
PURPOSE: Vinyl groups were introduced in inulin chains in order to form hydrogels of this sugar polymer by free radical polymerization. METHODS: Inulin was reacted with glycidyl methacrylate in N,N-dimethylformamide in the presence of 4-dimethylaminopyridine as catalyst. 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy were used for the characterization of the obtained reaction product. Solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy revealed the conversion of the incorporated vinyl groups into covalent cross-links upon free radical polymerization of aqueous solutions of the derivatized inulin. RESULTS: During reaction of inulin with glycidyl methacrylate, transesterification occurred, leading to the direct attachment of the methacryloyl group to inulin. Consequently, the obtained reaction product is methacrylated inulin. The extent of chemical modification of inulin could be tuned by varying the molar ratio of glycidyl methacrylate to inulin in the reaction mixture. Aqueous solutions of methacrylated inulin were converted into cross-linked hydrogels by free radical polymerization using ammonium persulphate and N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine as initiating system. CONCLUSIONS: Inulin hydrogels can be formed by free radical polymerization of aqueous solutions of methacrylated inulin.