pH-Responsiveness Properties of a Biodigradable Hydrogels Based on Carrageenan-g-poly(NaAA-co-NIPAM)

A novel thermo-sensitive superabsorbent hydrogel with salt- and pH-responsiveness properties was obtained by grafting of mixtures of acrylic acid (AA) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) monomers onto kappa-carrageenan, kC, using ammonium persulfate (APS) as a free radical initiator in the presence of methylene bisacrylamide (MBA) as a crosslinker. Infrared spectroscopy was carried out to confirm the chemical structure of the hydrogel. Moreover, morphology of the samples was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effect of MBA concentration and AA/NIPAM weight ratio on the water absorbency capacity has been investigated. The swelling variations of hydrogels were explained according to swelling theory based on the hydrogel chemical structure. The hydrogels exhibited salt-sensitivity and cation exchange properties. The temperature- and pH-reversibility properties of the hydrogels make the intelligent polymers as good candidates for considering as potential carriers for bioactive agents, e.g. drugs.

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