Objectives Swelling kinetics and solute permeation (theophylline, vitamin B12 and fluorescein sodium) of hydrogels composed of poly(methyl vinyl ether-co-maleic acid) (PMVE/MA) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) are presented.
Methods The effects of PMVE/MA and PEG 10 000 content on swelling behaviour (percentage swelling, the type of diffusion and swelling rate constant) were investigated in 0.1 m phosphate buffer. Network parameters, such as average molecular weight between crosslinks (Mc) and crosslink density, were evaluated.
Key findings The percentage swelling and Mc of hydrogels increased with decrease in PMVE/MA content, where the water diffusion mechanism into the hydrogels was Class-II type. In contrast, increase in PMVE/MA content caused an increase in the crosslink density. Permeation of theophylline, vitamin B12 and fluorescein sodium, with increasing hydrodynamic radii, was studied through the equilibrium swollen hydrogels composed of PMVE/MA and PEG. In general, the permeability and diffusion coefficients of all three solutes decreased with increase in the PMVE/MA content. In addition, permeability and diffusion coefficient values increased with decreases in the hydrodynamic radii of the solute molecules.
Conclusions The hydrogels have shown a change in swelling behaviour, crosslink density, Mc and solute permeation with change in PMVE/MA content, thus suggesting a potential application in controlled drug-delivery systems.