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

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 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 molecular stent method and PEG dehydration method. A master curve of Q–E, 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 Q–E experiment curve.

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Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2018, accepted on 07 Nov 2018 and first published on 07 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01854E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    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, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01854E

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