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Cryostructuring of Polymeric Systems. 49. Unexpected “Kosmotropic-Like” Impact of Organic Chaotropes on Freeze–Thaw-Induced Gelation of PVA in DMSO

A. N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 28, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation
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Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryogelation and Cryogels)
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Abstract

Urea (URE) and guanidine hydrochloride (GHC) possessing strong chaotropic properties in aqueous media were added to DMSO solutions of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to be gelled via freeze–thaw processing. Unexpectedly, it turned out that in the case of the PVA cryotropic gel formation in DMSO medium, the URE and GHC additives caused the opposite effects to those observed in water, i.e., the formation of the PVA cryogels (PVACGs) was strengthened rather than inhibited. Our studies of this phenomenon showed that such “kosmotropic-like” effects were more pronounced for the PVACGs that were formed in DMSO in the presence of URE additives, with the effects being concentration-dependent. The additives also caused significant changes in the macroporous morphology of the cryogels; the commonly observed trend was a decrease in the structural regularity of the additive-containing samples compared to the additive-free gel sample. The viscosity measurements revealed consistent changes in the intrinsic viscosity, Huggins constant, and the excess activation heat of the viscosity caused by the additives. The results obtained evidently point to the urea-induced decrease in the solvation ability of DMSO with respect to PVA. As a result, this effect can be the key factor that is responsible for strengthening the structure formation upon the freeze–thaw gelation of this polymer in DMSO additionally containing additives such as urea, which is capable of competing with PVA for the solvent. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(vinyl alcohol) cryogels; dimethyl sulfoxide; chaotropes; kosmotropes; unexpected effect poly(vinyl alcohol) cryogels; dimethyl sulfoxide; chaotropes; kosmotropes; unexpected effect
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Lozinsky, V.I.; Kolosova, O.Y.; Michurov, D.A.; Dubovik, A.S.; Vasil’ev, V.G.; Grinberg, V.Y. Cryostructuring of Polymeric Systems. 49. Unexpected “Kosmotropic-Like” Impact of Organic Chaotropes on Freeze–Thaw-Induced Gelation of PVA in DMSO. Gels 2018, 4, 81.

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