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Abstract

A correlation is established between the mesh size of a swollen cross-linked network and its equilibrium polymer volume fraction, for hydrogels isothermally swollen up to semidilute, dilute, or concentrated conditions. The exponent of this correlation decreases as the water concentration of the hydrogel decreases. Experimental results with hydrogels of poly(vinyl alcohol) and poly(2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate) are used to verify the new scaling laws.