5 years ago

Structure–property relations for temperature-responsive gels

Structure–property relations for temperature-responsive gels
A model is developed for equilibrium unconstrained swelling of thermo-responsive gels that takes into account formation of hydrophobic aggregates above the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT). The solid phase of a gel is treated as a polymer network with two types of junctions: covalent bonds that are formed under cross-linking polymerization of a pre-gel solution, and physical junctions that are developed due to aggregation of hydrophobic segments above VPTT. Adjustable parameters are found by fitting experimental data on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) gels with various molar fractions of monomers and cross-linker and various routes of cross-linking (chemical reaction versus irradiation), furnished with sacrificial chains in pre-gel solutions, and synthesized under phase separation condition in mixed solvents. The ability of the model to describe equilibrium swelling diagrams is confirmed by numerical simulation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0032386117310455

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