Present study refers to the synthesis of new advanced materials based on poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) with previously reported own advanced modified clays by edge covalent bonding. This will create the premises to obtain nanocomposite hydrogels with combined hydrophilic-hydrophobic behavior absolutely necessary for co-delivery of polar/nonpolar substances. For the synthesis, N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide was used as cross-linker and ammonium persulphate as initiator. As a consequence of the inclusion of clay into the polymer matrix and the intercalation of PMAA between the layers as well as the presence of hydrophobic interactions occurred between partners, the final hydrogel nanocomposites possessed greater swelling degrees, slower de-swelling process and enhanced mechanical properties depending on the clay type in comparison with pure hydrogel. In vitro MTS ([3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt]) colorimetric assay showed that direct exposure with PMMA-clay-based constructs did not affect cell viability and proliferation in time (24 and 48 h) on either normal or adenocarcinoma cell lines.
Keywords: biocompatibility; clay; hydrogel; nanocomposites.