Recent Advances in Microgels/Nanogels

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 2891

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, New Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
Interests: microgels/nanogels for biomedical; nanotechnological; environmental and catalytic applications

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, New Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
Interests: organic–inorganic hybrid microgels for catalysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite authors to submit original research papers or critical reviews to this Special Issue of Gels on “Recent Advances in Microgels/Nanogels”.

Microgels are crosslinked polymeric particles filled with a suitable liquid with diameters ranging from few hundred nanometers to a few hundred micrometers, and are usually dispersed in the same liquid. Some crosslinked polymeric particles have diameters that range from 1 to 100 nm; these are known as nanogels. Microgels/nanogels with different morphologies have gained much attention in recent decades due to their potential applications in nanotechnology, the biomedical and environmental sciences, sensing and catalysis.

This Special Issue of Gels aims to explore the chemistry and physics underlying the synthesis, properties, characterization and biomedical, nanotechnological, environmental and catalytic applications of microgels/nanogels. Original research articles and critical reviews that discuss cutting-edge research on microgels/nanogels are welcome, as are experimental and theoretical studies on homo-polymer, copolymer and core–shell polymer microgels. Topics include, but are not limited to: the synthesis of microgels/nanogels using various methodologies, including free-radical precipitation polymerization and microfluidic fabrication; the properties of microgels/nanogels, including their swelling/deswelling in the presence of various stimuli; methods of characterizing microgels/nanogels, including microscopic, scattering and spectroscopic methods; microgels as adsorbents; microgels loaded with inorganic nanoparticles; waste-water remediation using microgels/nanogels; microgels/nanogels for drug delivery; microgels/nanogels for sensing applications; and hybrid microgels for catalysis.

Dr. Zahoor H. Farooqi
Dr. Robina Begum
Guest Editors

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

  • microgels
  • nanogels
  • smart polymer microgels
  • hybrid microgels
  • soft matter

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 5339 KiB  
Article
Selective Adsorption of Ionic Species Using Macroporous Monodispersed Polyethylene Glycol Diacrylate/Acrylic Acid Microgels with Tunable Negative Charge
by Minjun Chen, Ksenija R. Kumrić, Conner Thacker, Radivoje Prodanović, Guido Bolognesi and Goran T. Vladisavljević
Gels 2023, 9(11), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9110849 - 26 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Monodispersed polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA)/acrylic acid (AA) microgels with a tuneable negative charge and macroporous internal structure have been produced using a Lego-inspired droplet microfluidic device. The surface charge of microgels was controlled by changing the content of AA in the monomer mixture [...] Read more.
Monodispersed polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA)/acrylic acid (AA) microgels with a tuneable negative charge and macroporous internal structure have been produced using a Lego-inspired droplet microfluidic device. The surface charge of microgels was controlled by changing the content of AA in the monomer mixture from zero (for noncharged PEGDA beads) to 4 wt%. The macroporosity of the polymer matrix was introduced by adding 20 wt% of 600-MW polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a porogen material into the monomer mixture. The porogen was successfully leached out with acetone after UV-crosslinking, which resulted in micron-sized cylindrical pores with crater-like morphology, uniformly arranged on the microgel surface. Negatively charged PEGDA/AA beads showed improved adsorption capacity towards positively charged organic dyes (methylene blue and rhodamine B) compared to neutral PEGDA beads and high repulsion of negatively charged dye molecules (methyl orange and congo red). Macroporous microgels showed better adsorption properties than nonporous beads, with a maximum adsorption capacity towards methylene blue of 45 mg/g for macroporous PEGDA/AA microgels at pH 8.6, as compared to 23 mg/g for nonporous PEGDA/AA microgels at the same pH. More than 98% of Cu(II) ions were removed from 50 ppm solution at pH 6.7 using 2.7 mg/mL of macroporous PEGDA/AA microgel. The adsorption of cationic species was significantly improved when pH was increased from 3 to 9 due to a higher degree of ionization of AA monomeric units in the polymer network. The synthesized copolymer beads can be used in drug delivery to achieve improved loading capacity of positively charged therapeutic agents and in tissue engineering, where a negative charge of scaffolds coupled with porous structure can help to achieve improved permeability of high-molecular-weight metabolites and nutrients, and anti-fouling activity against negatively charged species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Microgels/Nanogels)
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18 pages, 7858 KiB  
Article
Biocompatible Anisole-Nonlinear PEG Core–Shell Nanogels for High Loading Capacity, Excellent Stability, and Controlled Release of Curcumin
by Jing Shen, Jiangtao Zhang, Weitai Wu, Probal Banerjee and Shuiqin Zhou
Gels 2023, 9(9), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9090762 - 18 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 915
Abstract
Curcumin, a nontoxic and cheap natural medicine, has high therapeutic efficacy for many diseases, including diabetes and cancers. Unfortunately, its exceedingly low water-solubility and rapid degradation in the body severely limit its bioavailability. In this work, we prepare a series of biocompatible poly(vinyl [...] Read more.
Curcumin, a nontoxic and cheap natural medicine, has high therapeutic efficacy for many diseases, including diabetes and cancers. Unfortunately, its exceedingly low water-solubility and rapid degradation in the body severely limit its bioavailability. In this work, we prepare a series of biocompatible poly(vinyl anisole)@nonlinear poly(ethylene glycol) (PVAS@PEG) core–shell nanogels with different PEG gel shell thickness to provide high water solubility, good stability, and controllable sustained release of curcumin. The PVAS nanogel core is designed to attract and store curcumin molecules for high drug loading capacity and the hydrophilic nonlinear PEG gel shell is designed to offer water dispersibility and thermo-responsive drug release. The nanogels prepared are monodispersed in a spherical shape with clear core–shell morphology. The size and shell thickness of the nanogels can be easily controlled by changing the core–shell precursor feeding ratios. The optimized PVAS@PEG nanogels display a high curcumin loading capacity of 38.0 wt%. The nanogels can stabilize curcumin from degradation at pH = 7.4 and release it in response to heat within the physiological temperature range. The nanogels can enter cells effectively and exhibit negligible cytotoxicity to both the B16F10 and HL-7702 cells at a concentration up to 2.3 mg/mL. Such designed PVAS@PEG nanogels have great potential to be used for efficient drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Microgels/Nanogels)
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