Recent Advances in Microgels

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 1082

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
i3N/CENIMAT, Department of Materials Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: magnetic nanoparticles; cancer theranostics; thermoresponsive polymers; 3D printing; microgels
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Recent Advances in Microgels” is dedicated to the latest developments in microgels, including their synthesis, characterization, and applications.

The quest for new and improved materials over the past several decades has produced new functional materials that are able to respond to external stimuli. This response can be translated into significant physical or chemical changes in the intrinsic structure of the material. Polymeric microgels take advantage of their intermediary state between branched polymers and macroscopic networks. These structures have molecular weights similar to those of linear polymers, but their intrinsically linked structure enables a special behavior upon contact with appropriate solvents: microgels can swell without dissolving, forming stable colloidal dispersions. Ever since the discovery by Pelton and Chibante in 1986 of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) thermoresponsive microgels, these structures have gained tremendous attention in different research areas, particularly in biomedical applications. These thermoresponsive microgels shrink as the temperature increases because of their intrinsically lower critical solution temperature, making them materials of choice for advanced drug delivery systems.

We welcome the submission of both theoretical and experimental studies in the design, engineering, and application of microgels, with particular interest in the composition of innovative microgels. The most relevant fields of application will also be covered in this Special Issue to establish the most recent trends in the development of microgels.

Dr. Paula Isabel Soares
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • thermoresponsive
  • stimuli-responsive
  • microgel
  • polymer
  • synthesis
  • branched structure
  • responsive material

Published Papers (1 paper)

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16 pages, 1683 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Amino-Functionalized Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-Based Microgel Particles
by Anna Harsányi, Attila Kardos and Imre Varga
Gels 2023, 9(9), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9090692 - 28 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Responsive cationic microgels are a promising building block in several diagnostic and therapeutic applications, like transfection and RNA or enzyme packaging. Although the direct synthesis of cationic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) microgel particles has a long history, these procedures typically resulted in low [...] Read more.
Responsive cationic microgels are a promising building block in several diagnostic and therapeutic applications, like transfection and RNA or enzyme packaging. Although the direct synthesis of cationic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) microgel particles has a long history, these procedures typically resulted in low yield, low incorporation of the cationic comonomer, increased polydispersity, and pure size control. In this study, we investigated the possibility of the post-polymerization modification of P(NIPAm-co-acrylic acid) microgels to prepare primary amine functionalized microgels. To achieve this goal, we used 1-ethyl-3-(3-(dimethylamino)propyl)carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) mediated coupling of a diamine to the carboxyl groups. We found that by controlling the EDC excess in the reaction mixture, the amine functionalization of the carboxyl functionalized microgel could be varied and as much as 6–7 mol% amine content could be incorporated into the microgels. Importantly, the reaction was conducted at room temperature in an aqueous medium and it was found to be time efficient, making it a practical and convenient approach for synthesizing primary amine functionalized PNIPAm microgel particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Microgels)
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