A modular and practical synthesis of zwitterionic hydrogels through sequential amine-epoxy "click" chemistry and N-alkylation reaction

Junki Oh, Kevin Injoe Jung, Hyun Wook Jung, Anzar Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, the amine-epoxy "click" reaction is shown to be a valuable general tool in the synthesis of reactive hydrogels. The practicality of this reaction arises due to its catalyst-free nature, its operation in water, and commercial availability of a large variety of amine and epoxide molecules that can serve as hydrophilic network precursors. Therefore, hydrogels can be prepared in a modular fashion through a simple mixing of the precursors in water and used as produced (without requiring any post-synthesis purification step). The gelation behavior and final hydrogel properties depend upon the molecular weight of the precursors and can be changed as per the requirement. A post-synthesis modification through alkylation at the nitrogen atom of the newly formed β-hydroxyl amine linkages allows for functionalizing the hydrogels. For example, ring-opening reaction of cyclic sulfonic ester gives rise to surfaces with a zwitterionic character. Finally, the established gelation chemistry can be combined with soft lithography techniques such as micromolding in capillaries (MIMIC) to obtain hydrogel microstructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1491
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1



  • "click" chemistry
  • "click" hydrogels
  • Amine-epoxy reaction
  • Hydrogel patterning
  • Hydrogel synthesis
  • Poly(β-hydroxyl amine)s
  • Sequential reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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