Soft Matter

Exploring the versatility of hydrogels derived from living organocatalytic ring-opening polymerization

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In this work we have bridged the use of mild and living organocatalytic ring-opening polymerization to facilitate the synthesis of cross-linked networks with an emphasis on hydrogels. Amidine-catalyzed ring-opening polymerization of bis-carbonate macromonomers in the presence of an alcohol provides the onset for the reaction and various building blocks issued from the initiator, macromonomer and comonomer can be used in different proportions to tailor the swelling behavior and mechanical integrity of final networks. Easy modifications of the building blocks additionally allow for finely tuning the hydrogel functionality and/or promoting responsiveness in the final structure. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.