Biocompatible poly(N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) (PVP) hydrogels have been produced by UV irradiation of aqueous polymer mixtures, using a high-pressure mercury lamp. The resulting materials have been characterized by a combination of experimental techniques, including rheology, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and pulsed gradient spin-echo nuclear magnetic resonance (PGSE-NMR), to put in evidence the relationship between the microstructural properties and the macrofunctional behavior of the gels. Viscoelastic measurements showed that UV photo-cross-linked PVP hydrogels present a strong gel mechanical behavior and viscoelastic moduli values similar to those of biological gels. The average distance between the cross-linking points of the polymer network was estimated from the hydrogels elastic modulus. However, SANS measurements showed that the network microstructure is highly inhomogeneous, presenting polymer-rich regions more densely cross-linked, surrounded by a water-rich environment. EPR and PGSE-NMR data further support the existence of these water-rich domains. Inclusion of a third component, such as glycerol, in the PVP aqueous mixture to be irradiated has been also investigated. A small amount of glycerol (<3% w/w) can be added keeping satisfactory properties of the hydrogel, while higher amounts significantly affect the cross-linking process.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bm7008137|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000252415600032|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-38849177380|
|Titolo:||Structural and mechanical properties of UV-photo-cross-linked poly(N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) hydrogels|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|