Preparation and mechanical characterization of a PNIPA hydrogel composite

Kaifeng Liu; Ovaert, Timothy C.; Mason, James J.
April 2008
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine;Apr2008, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p1815
Academic Journal
A poly ( N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPA) hydrogel was synthesized by free radical polymerization and reinforced with a polyurethane foam to make a hydrogel composite. The temperature dependence of the elastic modulus of the PNIPA hydrogel and the composite due to volume phase transition was found using a uniaxial compression test, and the swelling property was investigated using an equilibrium swelling ratio experiment. The gel composite preserves the ability to undergo the volume phase transition and its elastic modulus has strong temperature dependence. The temperature dependence of the elastic modulus and swelling ratio of the gel composite were compared to the PNIPA hydrogel. Not surprisingly, the modulus and swelling ratio of the composite were less dramatic than in the gel.


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