Dynamics of a bioinert polymer in hydrated states by dielectric relaxation spectroscopy†
The chain dynamics of well-defined poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate) (PMEA), which has been used in practice as a bioinert coating for heart–lung machines, was examined as a function of water content by dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS). Two relaxation processes observed in both dried and hydrated films were assigned to the segmental motion (α-process) and the relatively smaller scale motion such as the hindered rotation of side chains (β-process). Water molecules adsorbed on PMEA made the α-process faster, meaning that water molecules in PMEA played the role of a plasticizer. Combining the above knowledge with the depth dependence of water content in the PMEA film previously obtained by neutron reflectivity, the segmental dynamics of PMEA at the water interface, which should be crucial to bio-inertness, is discussed. We found that the segmental motion was markedly faster than that in the bulk and almost comparable to the side chain motion.