POLYMER BULLETIN, vol.57, no.3, pp.341-349, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
A new temperature sensitive hydrogel matrix, poly(N-ethoxypropylacrylamide), PNEPAM, was obtained by the bulk polymerization of N-ethoxypropylacrylamide (NEPAM). The monomer, NEPAM was synthesized by the nucleophilic substitution reaction of 3-ethoxypropylamine and acryloyl chloride. The polymerization was performed at +4 degrees C, by using N,N-methylenebisacrylamide (MBAM) as crosslinker, polyethyleneglycol (PEG) 4000 as diluent, and potassium persulfate (KPS) and tetramethylethylenediamine (TEMED) as the initiator and accelerator, respectively. PNEPAM gel matrices exhibited a thermosensitive bahaviour reasonably similar to poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAM gels. The equilibrium swelling ratio at constant temperature increased with increasing initiator concentration and decreasing monomer concentration. The use of PEG 4000 as a diluent in the gel synthesis resulted in a significant enhacement in the thermosensitivity of gel matrix. The equilibrium swelling ratios up to 60 g water/g dry gel were observed in the low-temperature region. The results indicated that PNEPAM gel is a new alternative thermosensitive material to the NIPAM based gels.