Interpenetrating thermophobic and thermophilic dual responsive networks

F. Käfer, Y.Hu, Y. Wang, Z. Wu, S. Agarwal

J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem., 2019, 57: 539-544.

PNIPAAm_Hydrogel

Poly(N‐acryloyl glycinamide) (PNAGA)/poly(N‐isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) interpenetrating network (IPN) hydrogels were made by UV‐light initiated radical polymerization in two‐steps. The IPN hydrogels showed a double thermoresponsive behavior due to the combination of PNIPAAm (thermophobic) and PNAGA (thermophilic) networks. Increasing the content of the thermophobic PNIPAAm network leads to a change from a broad thermophilic volume phase transition temperature of PNAGA to a thermophilic–thermophobic‐type dual transition for the prepared IPN. Due to the double thermoresponsive character of the IPN gels, the mechanical properties are dependent upon temperature as demonstrated by performing tensile tests in water at 15 and 50 °C. Furthermore, the IPN hydrogels were characterized using turbidity measurements, SEM, and the determination of the equilibrium swelling ratio.

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