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Synthesis And Mechanical Properties Of A Nanocomposite Gel Consisting Of A Tetra-PEG/Clay Network

M. Fukasawa, T. Sakai, U. Chung, K. Haraguchi
Published 2010 · Chemistry

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Tetra-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based nanocomposite hydrogels (tP-NC gels) were prepared by in situ polymerization of two kinds of macromonomer (TN-PEG and TA-PEG), each having four reactive PEG arms, in the presence of clay (Laponite XLG) in aqueous media. By adopting appropriate synthetic conditions such as the use of pyrophosphate-Na buffer and selected homogeneous mixing procedures, tP-NC gels with high transparency and excellent tensile properties, e.g., high elongation (900−1000%) and high tensile strength (300−560 kPa), approximately 2−4 times those of the corresponding original tetra-PEG gel, were obtained at a relatively low clay concentration (Cclay = 2 × 10−2 mol/L-H2O) and a wide range of polymer concentrations (Cp = 120−240 mg/mL-H2O). We investigated the effects of buffer, Cclay, and Cp on forming tetra-PEG/clay gels, their tensile properties, and the network structures. Also, we studied interactions between the clay and tetra-PEG segments, by measurements such as viscometry, X-ray fluores...

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