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Issue 47, 2018
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Network elasticity of a model hydrogel as a function of swelling ratio: from shrinking to extreme swelling states

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Abstract

In this work, we intended to investigate the relationship between the swelling ratio Q and Young's modulus E of hydrogels from their contracted state to extreme swelling state and elucidate the underlining molecular mechanism. For this purpose, we used tetra-poly(ethylene glycol) (tetra-PEG) gel, whose network parameters are well known, as the polymer backbone, and we succeeded in tuning the swelling of the gel by a factor of 1500 times while maintaining the topological structure of the network unchanged, using an approach combining a molecular stent method and a PEG dehydration method. A master curve of QE, independent of the method of obtaining Q, was obtained. Using the worm-like chain model, the experimentally determined master curve can be well reproduced. We also observed that the uniaxial stress–strain curve of the hydrogel can be well predicted by the worm-like chain model using the structure parameters determined from the fitting of the QE experimental curve.

Graphical abstract: Network elasticity of a model hydrogel as a function of swelling ratio: from shrinking to extreme swelling states

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
11 Sep 2018
Accepted
07 Nov 2018
First published
07 Nov 2018

Soft Matter, 2018,14, 9693-9701
Article type
Paper

Network elasticity of a model hydrogel as a function of swelling ratio: from shrinking to extreme swelling states

K. Hoshino, T. Nakajima, T. Matsuda, T. Sakai and J. P. Gong, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 9693
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01854E

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