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Issue 30, 2015
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Self-healing hydrogels containing reversible oxime crosslinks

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Self-healing oxime-functional hydrogels have been developed that undergo a reversible gel-to-sol transition via oxime exchange under acidic conditions. Keto-functional copolymers were prepared by conventional radical polymerization of N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) and diacetone acrylamide (DAA). The resulting water soluble copolymers (P(DMA-stat-DAA)) were chemically crosslinked with difunctional alkoxyamines to obtain hydrogels via oxime formation. Gel-to-sol transitions were induced by the addition of excess monofunctional alkoxyamines to promote competitive oxime exchange under acidic conditions at 25 °C. The hydrogel could autonomously heal after it was damaged due to the dynamic nature of the oxime crosslinks. In addition to their chemo-responsive behavior, the P(DMA-stat-DAA) copolymers exhibit cloud points which vary with the DAA content in the copolymers. This thermo-responsive behavior of the P(DMA-stat-DAA) was utilized to form physical hydrogels above their cloud point. Therefore, these materials can either form dynamic-covalent or physically-crosslinked gels, both of which demonstrate reversible gelation behavior.

Graphical abstract: Self-healing hydrogels containing reversible oxime crosslinks

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The article was received on 13 Apr 2015, accepted on 23 Jun 2015 and first published on 06 Jul 2015

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00865D
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Soft Matter, 2015,11, 6152-6161

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    Self-healing hydrogels containing reversible oxime crosslinks

    S. Mukherjee, M. R. Hill and B. S. Sumerlin, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 6152
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00865D

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