Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 5, 2007
Previous Article Next Article

Self-assembly of acrylic triblock hydrogels by vapor-phase solvent exchange

Author affiliations

Abstract

We investigate the self-assembly of poly(methyl methacrylate)–poly(methacrylic acid)–poly(methyl methacrylate) triblock copolymers by a vapor-phase solvent-exchange mechanism. Two acrylic triblock copolymers were synthesized with different hydrophilic/hydrophobic block ratios. Hydrogels were formed by exposing the solutions to saturated water vapor. As water diffuses into the solution, the hydrophobic end-blocks form aggregates that are bridged by the hydrophilic mid-blocks. Structure formation in the gels was characterized by small angle X-ray scattering, and swelling was measured in controlled pH buffer solutions. The solvent exchange process occurs while the methacrylic acid group remains in the protonated state. After swelling to equilibrium in water or controlled pH buffers, strong gels are formed with polymer-weight fractions between 0.01 and 0.15, and with shear moduli between 0.6 kPa and 3.5 kPa. Porous gels were produced by adding salt crystals to the polymer solution prior to solvent exchange. Salt was then leached out by immersing the gel into water. Structures of the porous hydrogels were characterized by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of acrylic triblock hydrogels by vapor-phase solvent exchange

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 26 Oct 2006, accepted on 06 Jan 2007 and first published on 13 Feb 2007


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B615412C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2007,3, 619-626
  •   Request permissions

    Self-assembly of acrylic triblock hydrogels by vapor-phase solvent exchange

    M. Guvendiren and K. R. Shull, Soft Matter, 2007, 3, 619
    DOI: 10.1039/B615412C

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements