Injectable polyHIPEs as high-porosity bone grafts

Robert S. Moglia, Jennifer L. Holm, Nicholas A. Sears, Caitlin J. Wilson, Dawn M. Harrison, Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Polymerization of high internal phase emulsions (polyHIPEs) is a relatively new method for the production of high-porosity scaffolds. The tunable architecture of these polyHIPE foams makes them attractive candidates for tissue engineered bone grafts. Previously studied polyHIPE systems require either toxic diluents or high cure temperatures which prohibit their use as an injectable bone graft. In contrast, we have developed an injectable polyHIPE that cures at physiological temperatures to a rigid, high-porosity foam. First, a biodegradable macromer, propylene fumarate dimethacrylate (PFDMA), was synthesized that has appropriate viscosity and hydrophobicity for emulsification. The process of surfactant selection is detailed with particular focus on the key structural features of both polymer (logP values, hydrogen bond acceptor sites) and surfactant (HLB values, hydrogen bond donor sites) that enable stable HIPE formation. Incubation of HIPEs at 37 °C was used to initiate radical cross-linking of the unsaturated double bond of the methacrylate groups to polymerize the continuous phase and lock in the emulsion geometry. The resulting polyHIPEs exhibited ∼75% porosity, pore sizes ranging from 4 to 29 μm, and an average compressive modulus and strength of 33 and 5 MPa, respectively. These findings highlight the great potential of these scaffolds as injectable, tissue engineered bone grafts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3621-3628
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 10 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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