Polymerization process of hydrogel microspheres on video

Polymerization process of hydrogel microspheres on video
Structural evolution. Credit: Reprinted with permission from Langmuir 2021, 37, 151-159. Copyright (2021) American Chemical Society

Aqueous free-radical precipitation polymerization is one of the most useful methods to prepare uniformly sized hydrogel microspheres (microgels), and an understanding of the polymerization mechanism is crucial to control the structure or physicochemical properties of microgels. However, the details of the mechanism of precipitation polymerization remain unclear.

Thus, first author Yuichiro Nishizawa, Prof. Daisuke Suzuki of the Graduate School of Textile Science & Technology, Shinshu University and Prof. Takayuki Uchihashi of Nagoya University set out to clarify the formation mechanism of microgels during precipitation by evaluating structural evolution and thermoresponsiveness of developing microgels during polymerization and by visualization of polymerization directly.

Through the direct visualization of the microgels with different polymerization times, it was clarified that some inhomogeneous, non-thermoresponsive nanostructures existed in the thermoresponsive microgels formed in the initial stages of precipitation polymerization.

This result indicates that the aggregation of precipitated in the nucleation process (the initial stages of the polymerization) is an important factor in determining the nanostructures of microgels.

With this study published in Langmuir, the research group succeeded in the direct visualization of the precipitation polymerization in and obtained definitive evidence for understanding the formation mechanism of microgels during polymerization.

Direct visualization of the precipitation polymerization process. Credit: Reprinted with permission from Langmuir 2021, 37, 151-159. Copyright (2021) American Chemical Society

Nishizawa hopes to clarify what parameter is important for controlling the aggregation of polymer chains during precipitation polymerization, and ultimately, solve the mystery of the formation of uniformly sized microgels.

More information: Yuichiro Nishizawa et al, Nanostructures, Thermoresponsiveness, and Assembly Mechanism of Hydrogel Microspheres during Aqueous Free-Radical Precipitation Polymerization, Langmuir (2020). DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c02654

Journal information: Langmuir

Provided by Shinshu University

Citation: Polymerization process of hydrogel microspheres on video (2021, March 2) retrieved 15 June 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-polymerization-hydrogel-microspheres-video.html
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