Nanocomposite Hydrogels Obtained by Gamma Irradiation

Reference work entry
Part of the Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series book series (POPOC)


During the past decades hydrogels have gained considerable interest and reviewed from different points of view, because of their unique properties. The hydrogel 3D structure, porosity, swelling behavior, stability, gel strength, as well as biodegradability, nontoxicity, and biocompatibility are properties which are widely variable and easily adjusted, making them suitable for many versatile applications, especially in the field of medicine and biotechnology. Generally, hydrogels possess the huge potential to be used as a matrix for incorporation of different types of nanoparticles. Namely, hydrogels in the swollen state provide free space between cross-linked polymer chains, in which the nucleation and growth of nanoparticles occurs. In this way, the carrier-hydrogel system acts as a nanoreactor that also immobilizes nanoparticles and provides easy handling with obtained hydrogel nanocomposites. It is well known that the properties of nanocomposite materials are dependent on the method of synthesis. Among various techniques, the radiation-induced synthesis offers a number of advantages over the conventional physical and chemical methods. Radiolytic method is a highly suitable way for formation of three-dimensional polymer network, i.e., hydrogels, as well as for generation of nanoparticles in a solution (especially metal nanoparticles). This method provides fast, easy, and clean synthesis of hydrogel nanocomposites. Moreover, and probably the most important from the biomedical point of view, is the possibility of simultaneous formation of nanocomposite hydrogel and its sterilization in one technological step. Despite all the mentioned advantages of radiolytic method, there are not so many investigations related to nanocomposite materials based on nanoparticles incorporated in a hydrogel matrix.


Gamma irradiation Hydrogels Nanoparticles Nanocomposites 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Project No. 45005).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Radiation Chemistry and Physics, Vinča Institute of Nuclear SciencesUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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