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Title: Hydrogel multistructure swelling kinetics by light polarized microscopy
Author: Jimenez, R.
Velasquez, E.
Hernandez, E.
Reyez, I.
Bautista, F.
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Acrylate based hydrogels synthesized under strict controlled conditions exhibit structures at three different length scales (10~6, 10"4 and 10"2 m) as well as an unusual combination of surface properties, morphology, mechanical properties and swelling capacity. These properties depend strongly on the thermal history during the synthesis and on the cross-linking agent concentration. Mechanical properties, swelling capacity and structures at different length scales of these hydrogels have shown a transition at a critical concentration of cross-linking agent. The swelling kinetics was determined by alternative techniques to the traditional gravimetric method. A novel technique uses a statistic method of analysis of variance (ANOVA) of images taken during the swelling process. Another method calls for the use of light polarized microscopy with a sucrose solution as contrast medium and swelling agent. The time elapsed for determination of the swelling kinetics is a hundred times faster than the traditional gravimetric technique.
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