Lübtow MM, Mrlik M, Hahn L, Altmann A, Beudert M, Lühmann T and Luxenhofer R (2019) Temperature-Dependent Rheological and Viscoelastic Investigation of a Poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline)-b-poly(2-iso-butyl-2-oxazoline)-b-poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline)-Based Thermogelling Hydrogel, J. Funct. Biomater. 2019, 10(3), 36
The synthesis and characterization of an ABA triblock copolymer based on hydrophilic poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) (pMeOx) blocks A and a modestly hydrophobic poly(2-iso-butyl-2-oxazoline) (piBuOx) block B is described. Aqueous polymer solutions were prepared at different concentrations (1–20 wt %) and their thermogelling capability using visual observation was investigated at different temperatures ranging from 5 to 80 °C. As only a 20 wt % solution was found to undergo thermogelation, this concentration was investigated in more detail regarding its temperature-dependent viscoelastic profile utilizing various modes (strain or temperature sweep). The prepared hydrogels from this particular ABA triblock copolymer have interesting rheological and viscoelastic properties, such as reversible thermogelling and shear thinning, and may be used as bioink, which was supported by its very low cytotoxicity and initial printing experiments using the hydrogels. However, the soft character and low yield stress of the gels do not allow real 3D printing at this point.