Pluronic F127 gels fabricated by thiol–ene click chemistry: preparation, gelation dynamics, swelling behaviors and mechanical properties

Abstract

Click chemistry is an effective tool to fabricate three-dimensional gel network in an accurate way. In this work, Pluronic F127 gels are prepared by thiol–ene click chemistry, utilizing double-bond end-capped Pluronic F127 (F127DA) and pentaerythritol tetras-mercaptopropionate (PETMP) as the starting materials and triethylamine as the catalyst. Both the mass fraction of F127DA and the initial concentration of PETMP have effects on the properties of the resulting F127 gels. The optimized F127 gel prepared under a F127DA mass fraction of 15 wt% and a PETMP concentration of 17.62 mmol/L exhibits the highest swelling ratio (10) and has the largest elongation at break (194%). When the F127DA mass fraction and PETMP concentration are fixed at 15 wt% and 48.26 mmol/L, respectively, the resulting F127 gel has a high stress of 0.25 MPa. The present example has presented a method to fabricate three-dimensional gel network in a controlled way.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51603164, 21807085), the Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China (Nos. 2016JQ5036, 2017ZDJC-22), the Young Talent Fund of University Association for Science and Technology in Shaanxi, China (20170706) and the Start-up Funding for Scientific Research in Xi’an Technological University (No. 0853-302020350).

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Correspondence to Bo Yan.

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Yan, B., Zhou, H., Lai, J. et al. Pluronic F127 gels fabricated by thiol–ene click chemistry: preparation, gelation dynamics, swelling behaviors and mechanical properties. Polym. Bull. 76, 6049–6061 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00289-019-02696-0

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Keywords

  • Click chemistry
  • Thiol–ene
  • Gel
  • Gelation dynamics
  • Mechanical property