The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Manufacture of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate) hydrogel tubes for use as nerve guidance channels

Dalton, Paul D., Flynn, Lauren and Shoichet, Molly S. (2002) Manufacture of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate) hydrogel tubes for use as nerve guidance channels Biomaterials, 23, (18), pp. 3843-3851. (doi:10.1016/S0142-9612(02)00120-5).

Record type: Article


Hydrogel tubes of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate) (p(HEMA-co-MMA)) made by liquid–liquid centrifugal casting are being investigated as potential nerve guidance channels in the central nervous system. An important criterion for the nerve guidance channel is that its mechanical properties are similar to those of the spinal cord, where it will be implanted. The formulated p(HEMA-co-MMA) tubes are soft and flexible, consisting of a gel-like outer layer, and an interconnected macroporous, inner layer. The relative thickness of the gel phase to macroporous phase is controlled by the formulation chemistry, and specifically by the ratio of co-monomers, HEMA and MMA. By varying the surface chemistry of the mold within which the tubes are synthesized, tubes were prepared with either a “cracked” or a smooth outer morphology. Tubes with the cracked outer morphology had periodic channels that traversed the wall of the tube, which resulted in a lower modulus than smooth outer morphology tubes, yet likely greater diffusive permeability. For tubes (and not rods) to be formed, phase separation must precede gelation as is detailed in a formulation phase diagram for HEMA, MMA and water. The tensile elastic modulus of p(HEMA-co-MMA) tubes reflected the formulation chemistry, with greater moduli (up to 400 kPa) recorded for tubes having 10 wt% MMA. The p(HEMA-co-MMA) tubes therefore had similar mechanical properties to those of the spinal cord, which has a reported elastic modulus range between 200 and 600 kPa.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Submitted date: 9 April 2001
Published date: September 2002
Keywords: 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, phase separation, tubes, liquid–liquid centrifugal casting, nerve regeneration, pHEMA, HEMA
Organisations: Biological Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 40936
ISSN: 0142-9612
PURE UUID: adf13040-38af-4b73-bdd1-398f67e6615e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Jul 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:33

Export record



Author: Paul D. Dalton
Author: Lauren Flynn
Author: Molly S. Shoichet

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.