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On the Structure of biocompatible, thermoresponsive Poly(ethylene glycol) microgels
Citation key gawl14
Author Gawlitza, K. and Radulescu, A. and von Klitzing, R. and Wellert, S.
Pages 6717
Year 2014
DOI 10.1016/j.polymer.2014.10.069
Journal Polymer
Volume 55
Abstract The aim of the present study is the preparation and characterization of microgel particles which are, contrary to other microgels, thermoresponsive as well as biocompatible. Hence, monodisperse p-MeO2MA-co-OEGMA microgel particles were synthesized by precipitation polymerization. Swelling/deswelling behavior and the structure of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) based microgel particles were investigated. A combination of dynamic light scattering (DLS) and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) was used. Particle size and the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) are adjustable by changing the amount of comonomer. SANS measurements indicate an inhomogeneous structure of the PEG microgels in the swollen state. At temperatures above the VPTT a compact structure was observed. An increase of the comonomer content leads to a densely packed core and a fuzzy shell in the swollen state. Additionally, nanodomains inside the polymer network were observed in the temperature range around the volume phase transition (VPT). Due to this heterogeneous structure in the swollen state two correlation lengths of the network fluctuations were observed.
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