Controlled Structure and Properties of Thermoresponsive Nanoparticle–Hydrogel Composites


  • We acknowledge the support of the National Institutes of Health (Grant# 1 R24 AI 37739) and the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (Grant# DAAD 10-02-D-002). Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


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Nanocomposite hydrogels consisting of colloidal gold nanoparticles and thermoresponsive N-isopropylacrylamide copolymers (see Figure) are synthesized. The size, morphology, and stability of the nanoparticles are controlled by the amount of thiol group in the polymer side chains. Compared with non-Au-containing hydrogels, remarkably different bulk properties of equilibrium swelling and thermoresponsive phase transition are displayed.