Klapperich Lab:Photopolymerization of PHEMA

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This protocol outlines the photopolymerization of PHEMA.


  • 900 uL HEMA or modified monomer
  • 600 uL Ethylene glycol
  • 25 uL EGDMA (ethylene glycol dimethacrylate), crosslinker
  • 20 mg DMPAP, photoinitiator


  1. Turn on digital dry bath. Add water to wells you will use. Set temperature to 85°C.
  2. Add DMPAP to 2 mL centrifuge tube.
  3. Add HEMA to tube. Be careful to avoid air bubbles when pipetting.
  4. Add ethylene glycol to tube.
  5. Add EGMDA to tube.
  6. Heat mixture in digital bath until crystals are melted. Vortex.
  7. Add contents of tube to one well of a 6 well plate. Expose to UV light for 2.5 minutes.


  1. Be careful not to overheat DMPAP. (Jessica Kaufman)
  2. Let gel sit in fume hood for at least 4 hours before hydrating with Millipore water.(Jessica Kaufman)
  3. This recipe in this mold yields a swollen gel that is approximately 1 mm thick.(Jessica Kaufman)


  1. Song J, Malathong V, and Bertozzi CR. Mineralization of synthetic polymer scaffolds: a bottom-up approach for the development of artificial bone. J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Mar 16;127(10):3366-72. DOI:10.1021/ja043776z | PubMed ID:15755154 | HubMed [Song2005]
  2. Song J, Saiz E, and Bertozzi CR. A new approach to mineralization of biocompatible hydrogel scaffolds: an efficient process toward 3-dimensional bonelike composites. J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Feb 5;125(5):1236-43. DOI:10.1021/ja028559h | PubMed ID:12553825 | HubMed [Song2003]

All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed


  • Jessica Kaufman
  • Nathan Spencer
  • Eben Tessari