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pH-thermoreversible hydrogels. I. Synthesis and swelling behaviors of the (N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylamide-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) copolymeric hydrogels

Authors

  • Wen-Fu Lee,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Tatung Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, Tatung Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
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  • Chih-Hsuan Shieh

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Tatung Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
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Abstract

A series of pH-thermoreversible hydrogels that exhibited volume phase transition was synthesized by various molar ratios of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm), acrylamide (AAm), and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The influence of environmental conditions such as temperature and pH value on the swelling behavior of these copolymeric gels was investigated. Results showed that the hydrogels exhibited different equilibrium swelling ratios in different pH solutions. Amide groups could be hydrolyzed to form negatively charged carboxylate ion groups in their hydrophilic polymeric network in response to an external pH variation. The pH sensitivities of these gels also depended on the AAm content in the copolymeric gels; thus the greater the AAm content, the higher the pH sensitivity. These hydrogels, based on a temperature-sensitive hydrogel, demonstrated a significant change of equilibrium swelling in aqueous media between a highly solvated, swollen gel state and a dehydrated network response to small variations of temperature. pH-thermoreversible hydrogels were used for a study of the release of a model drug, caffeine, with changes in temperature. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 71: 221–231, 1999

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