Preparation and properties of modified PHEMA hydrogels containing thermo-responsive pluronic component
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To modify and strengthen the properties of PHEMA hydrogel, composite hydrogels containing varying amounts of a Pluronic (PEO-PPO-PEO) component were synthesized by bulk polymerization of HEMA in the presence of Pluronic dimethacrylate under mild photoinitiating conditions. The effects of the Pluronic component on gel properties were investigated by measuring the degree of swelling with its temperature responsive behavior, the mechanical properties, and the morphology of the composite hydrogels. With increased Pluronic content, the modified PHEMA hydrogels exhibited an increase in the degree of swelling, and the swelling showed an enhanced thermo-responsive behavior that was completely reversible. In addition, improved mechanical strength and the development of a microporous gel morphology were observed in hydrogels containing Pluronic.
KeywordsPHEMA Pluronic F127 thermo-responsive swelling photo-polymerization
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