Absorption Properties of Microgel-PVP Composite Nanofibers Made by Electrospinning

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Abstract

The absorption and desorption of water, as well as the retention of certain molecules within a polymeric network, have special interest in a wide range of applications, including drug delivery, biosensing, chemical separation, catalysis, and optics. In this communication, we report the encapsulation by electrospinning of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-based monodisperse microgels within microfibers of crosslinked poly(vinylpyrrolidone), which is a hydrogel itself, up to concentrations of 40 wt.-% of the microgels. We present an optical characterization of these composite microfibers and quantify their absorbance, which can be as large as 17 times their de-swollen weight. Interestingly, this absorbance can be tuned by controlling the values of the temperature and the pH of the medium.

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