Synthesis and characterization of poly(vinylphosphonic acid-co-acrylic acid) copolymers for application in bone tissue scaffolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Rebecca Dey
  • Xia Zhong
  • Peter Youle
  • Qi Guang Wang
  • Ian Wimpenny
  • Sandra Downes


Poly(vinylphosphonic acid-co-acrylic acid) (PVPA-co-AA) has recently been identified as a possible candidate for use in bone tissue engineering. It is hypothesized that the strong binding of PVPA-co-AA to calcium in natural bone inhibits osteoclast activity. The free radical polymerization of acrylic acid (AA) with vinylphosphonic acid (VPA) has been investigated with varying experimental conditions. A range of copolymers were successfully produced and their compositions were determined quantitatively using 31P NMR spectroscopy. Monomer conversions were calculated using 1H NMR spectroscopy and a general decrease was found with increasing VPA content. Titration studies demonstrated an increase in the degree of dissociation as a function of VPA in the copolymer. However, a VPA content ca. 30 mol % was found to be the optimum for calcium chelation, suggesting that this composition is the most promising for biomaterials applications. Assessment of cell metabolic activity showed that PVPA-co-AA has no detrimental effect on cells, regardless of copolymer composition.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2656–2662
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2016