Synthesis and characterization of a novel inulin hydrogel crosslinked with pyromellitic dianhydride

Franklin Afinjuomo, Thomas G. Barclay, Yunmei Song, Ankit Parikh, Nikolai Petrovsky, Sanjay Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Smart hydrogels with pH and enzyme triggered release suitable for colon specific drug delivery were prepared by crosslinking inulin with pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) in a simple one pot synthesis. Back titration, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and ultraviolet spectrophotometry (UV) demonstrated that the hydrogel crosslinking reaction resulted in ester linkages and carboxylic acid groups and that the amount of the crosslinker in the hydrogel increased with increasing PMDA concentration in the crosslinking reaction. Thermal analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed the chemical change by illustrating the hydrogels changed thermal properties and appearance compared to inulin. This hydrogel showed excellent swelling in water and the degree of swelling was inversely proportional to the cross-linking density, as determined using Flory-Rehner theory. Due to the presence of the carboxylic acid groups in the structure, the swelling was pH dependent, with significantly reduced swelling as acidity decreased from pH 7.4 to pH 1.2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
Early online date1 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Crosslinking
  • Hydrogel
  • Inulin
  • pH dependent swelling
  • Pyromellitic dianhydride


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