Stimuli-Responsive Porous Hydrogels at Interfaces for Molecular Filtration, Separation, Controlled Release, and Gating in Capsules and Membranes

Authors

  • Ihor Tokarev,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, 8 Clarkson Ave., Potsdam, NY 13699-5810 (USA)
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  • Sergiy Minko

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, 8 Clarkson Ave., Potsdam, NY 13699-5810 (USA)
    • Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, 8 Clarkson Ave., Potsdam, NY 13699-5810 (USA).
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Abstract

A continuously growing area of controlled and tunable transport and separation of biomolecules and drugs has recently attracted attention to the structures which can be referred to as stimuli-responsive porous hydrogel thin films. Because of spatial constraints, swelling/shrinking of the hydrogel films results in closing/opening (or vice versa) of the film's pores. Such responsive systems can be used in the configuration of plane films or capsules. The combination of a low thickness (translating into a low hydrodynamic flow resistance and rapid response) with well-defined size and shape of pores (translating into better control of transport and separation), which can be closed, opened, or tuned by an external signal (allowing a large amplitude of changes in diffusivity of solutes in the thin film and a precise control of the pore size), makes these materials very attractive for a range of applications, such as molecular filtration, separation, drug delivery, sensors, and actuators.

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