Using Mass Spectrometry to Investigate the Structural Features of Photocrosslinked Co-Networks based on Gelatin and Poly(ethylene glycol) Methacrylates


Gelatin was functionalized with glycidyl methacrylate and photocrosslinked in the presence of poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDMA) or poly(ethylene glycol) monomethacrylate (PEGMA) to create a biopolymer-based system with tailorable properties. These co-networks were hydrolyzed using 6 M HCl and the degradation products were analyzed and identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. This technique successfully identified gelatin-derived peptides such as FLPEPPE, SFLPEPPE, and SFLPEPPEE as well as an accompanying PEG-g-poly(methacrylic acid) component. No oligo- or polymethacrylates were monitored at any molecular weight range above m/z = 500, which indicated that they possessed lower molecular weights. An in vitro hydrolytic degradation experiment performed in pH 7.4 PBS buffer solution at 37 °C showed that these networks, which were prepared without the addition of a potentially toxic photoinitiator, exhibited mass loss of up to 50 wt% at 6 weeks of incubation time. These results provide valuable insight into how these functional gelatin-based co-network biomaterials will perform in a biological setting.
QR Code: Link to publication