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Abstract

The diffusion of water into cylinders of polyHEMA and copolymers of HEMA with THFMA, BMA and CHMA were studied over a range of copolymer compositions. The diffusion of water into the polymers was found to follow a Fickian, or case I mechanism. The diffusion coefficients of water were determined from mass measurements and NMR imaging studies. They were found to vary from 1.7 ± 0.2 x 10−11 m2 s−1 for polyHEMA at 37°C to lower values for the copolymers. The mass of water absorbed at equilibrium relative to the mass of dry polymer varied from 52-58 wt% for polyHEMA to lower values for the copolymers.