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Open AccessArticle

Intelligent Poly(N-Isopropylmethacrylamide) Hydrogels: Synthesis, Structure Characterization, Stimuli-Responsive Swelling Properties, and Their Radiation Decomposition

1
Faculty of Technology, University of Niš, Bulevar Oslobodjenja 124, 16000 Leskovac, Serbia
2
Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Department of Radioisotopes, University of Belgrade, Mike Petrovića Alasa 12-14, 11351 Vinča, Belgrade, Serbia
3
Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Boulevard dr Zorana Djindjica 81, 18108 Niš, Serbia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051112 (registering DOI)
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 7 May 2020 / Published: 13 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Structure and Property II)
Poly(N-isopropylmethacrylamide) (p(NiPMAm)) is one of the lesser known homopolymers that has significant potential for designing new “intelligent” materials. The aims of this work were the synthesis a series of cross-linked p(NiPMAm) hydrogels by the free radical polymerization method and the application of gamma-ray radiation for additional cross-linking. The synthesized p(NiPMAm) hydrogels were structurally characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The amount of unreacted monomers was analyzed using high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) to evaluate conversion of monomers into polymers. The swelling behavior was monitored in dependence of pH and temperature changes. The previous aim of gamma-ray radiation was the further the cross-linkage of the obtained hydrogel sample in the gelatinous, paste-like state, but the gamma-ray radiation caused decomposition. After absorbing irradiation doses, they transformed into the liquid phase. The results obtained by the gel permeation chromatography (GPC) method indicated that only oligomers and monomers were present in the irradiated liquid material, without molecules with a higher average molar mass, i.e., that the decomposition of the hydrogels occurred. Additionally, the irradiated liquid material was analyzed using the static headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HSS-GC/MS) and gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (HSS-GC/FID) methods. The presence of unchanged initiator molecule and a dominant amount of four new molecules that were different from homopolymers and the reactant (monomer and cross-linker) were determined. View Full-Text
Keywords: N-isopropylmethacrylamide; hydrogel; swelling kinetics; gamma irradiation; decrosslinking N-isopropylmethacrylamide; hydrogel; swelling kinetics; gamma irradiation; decrosslinking
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Ilić-Stojanović, S.; Urošević, M.; Nikolić, L.; Petrović, D.; Stanojević, J.; Najman, S.; Nikolić, V. Intelligent Poly(N-Isopropylmethacrylamide) Hydrogels: Synthesis, Structure Characterization, Stimuli-Responsive Swelling Properties, and Their Radiation Decomposition. Polymers 2020, 12, 1112.

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