Increased Hydrogel Swelling Induced by Absorption of Small Molecules

Changwoo Nam, Tawanda Zimudzi, Geoffrey M. Geise, Michael Anthony Hickner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The water and small molecule uptake behavior of amphiphilic diacrylate terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMSDA)/poly(ethylene glycol diacrylate) (PEGDA) cross-linked hydrogels were studied using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. These hydrogel networks absorbed more water as the PEGDA content of the network increased. In contrast to typical osmotic deswelling behavior that occurs when liquid water equilibrated hydrogels are immersed in small molecule solutions with water activities less than unity, water-swollen gels immersed in 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS-H) solutions rapidly regained their water content within 4 min following an initial deswelling response. In situ ATR-FTIR analysis of the hydrogel film during the dynamic swelling experiment indicated that small molecule absorption into the gel played an important role in inducing gel reswelling in low water activity solutions. This aspect of polymer gel water uptake and interaction with small molecules is important for optimizing hydrogel coatings and hydrophilic polymer applications where there is an interaction between the internal chemical structure of the gel and electrolytes or other molecules in solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14263-14270
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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