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Title: Tailoring thermoresponsive nanostructured poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogels made with poly(acrylamide) nanoparticles
Author: Fernandez, V.V.A.
Aguilar, J.
Becerra, F.
Sanchez-Diaz, J.C.
Soltero, J.F.A.
Ortega-Gudino, P.
Hernandez, E.
Bautista, F.
Puig, J.E.
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: The thermoresponsive behavior and mechanical properties of nanostructured hydrogels, which consist of poly(acrylamide) nanoparticles embedded in a cross-linked poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogel matrix, are reported here. Nanostructured hydrogels exhibit a tuned volume phase transition temperature (T VPT), which varies with nanoparticle content in the range from 32 up to 39-40 C. Moreover, larger equilibrium water uptake, faster swelling and de-swelling rates, and larger equilibrium swelling at 25 C were obtained with nanostructured hydrogels compared with those of conventional ones. Elastic and Young's moduli were larger than those of conventional hydrogels at similar swelling ratios. The tuned T VPT and the de-swelling rate were predicted with a modified Flory-Rehner equation coupled with a mixing rule that considers the contribution of both polymers. These behaviors are explained by a combination of hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions and by the controlled inhomogeneities (nanoparticles) introduced by the method of synthesis. � 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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