A series of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and sodium acrylate (SA50) copolymeric gels were prepared from HEMA and the anionic monomer SA50 with various molar ratios. The influence of SA50 on the copolymeric gels on their swelling behavior in deionized water at different temperatures and various pH buffer solutions was investigated. Results indicated that the poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) hydrogels exhibited an overshooting phenomenon in their dynamic swelling behavior. The maximum overshooting value decreased with increasing of the temperature. The same results were also found in the HEMA/SA50 copolymeric gels with a lower SA50 content. On the contrary, the overshooting phenomenon for HEMA/SA50 copolymeric gels with a higher content of SA50 was exhibited only under higher temperature (over 35°C). These copolymer gels were used to assess drug release and drug delivery in this article. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 81: 1360–1371, 2001
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