Physicochemical properties of hydrogels for use in ophthalmology

B.J. Tighe*, A. Mann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


This chapter deals with the physicochemical aspects of structure-property relationships in synthetic hydrogels, with particular reference to their application in optometry and ophthalmology. It demonstrates the ways in which the amount of water contained in the hydrogel network can be manipulated by changes in copolymer composition and illustrates the advantages and limitations imposed by use of water as a means of influencing surface, transport and mechanical properties of the gel. The chapter then illustrates how this basic understanding has formed a platform for the development of synthetic interpenetrating networks and macroporous materials, and of hybrids of natural and synthetic hydrogels. The behaviour of these more complex systems is not so centrally dominated by the equilibrium water content as is the case with homogeneous synthetic hydrogels, thus providing advantageous ways of extending the properties and applications of these interesting materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomaterials and regenerative medicine in ophthalmology
EditorsTraian V. Chirila, Damien G. Harkin
Place of PublicationLondon (UK)
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-08-100184-4
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-100147-9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameWoodhead Publishing Series in Biomaterials
PublisherWoodhead Publishing


  • equilibrium water content
  • hydrogels
  • interpenetrating networks
  • macroporous hydrogels
  • oxygen permeability
  • surface energy


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