Date: August 2002
Creator: Lu, Xihua
Description: The thermally responsive hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) hydrogel nanoparticles have been synthesized and characterized. The HPC particles were obtained by chemically crosslinking collapsed HPC polymer chains in water-surfactant (dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide) dispersion above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the HPC. The size distributions of microgel particles, measured by dynamic light scattering, have been correlated with synthesis conditions including surfactant concentration, polymer concentration, and reaction temperature. The swelling and phase transition properties of resultant HPC microgels have been analyzed using both static and dynamic light scattering techniques. By first making gel nanoparticles and then covalently bonding them together, we have engineered a new class of gels with two levels of structural hierarchy: the primary network is crosslinked polymer chains in each individual particle, while the secondary network is a system of crosslinked nanoparticles. The covalent bonding contributes to the structural stability of the nanostructured gels, while self-assembly provides them with crystal structures that diffract light, resulting in colors. By using N-isopropylacrylamide copolymer hydrogel nanoparticles, we have synthesized nanoparticle networks that display a striking iridescence like precious opal but are soft and flexible like gelatin. This is in contrast to previous colored hydrogels, which were created either by adding dyes or fluorescent, ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries