How temperature affects the structure of a hydrogel

New article in „ChemieXtra“

Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPA) is a thermosensitive polymer that changes its molecular structure induced by a temperature change. This property can be used for many applications in pharma and in the development of smart materials such as biosensors, membranes and microgels. In addition, the critical solution temperature can be shifted into the range of human body temperature, for example, by additives. This makes PNIPA a potential candidate for drug delivery: the hydrogel can be loaded with bioactive molecules outside the human organism which are released “in vivo” due to the collapse of the polymer structure.

In this article, you can read how the temperature in solution affects the structure of PNIPA. To this end, using the new BeNano 180 Zeta Pro, the size and zeta potential of a PNIPA hydrogel were determined as a function of temperature using electrophoretic and dynamic light scattering.

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