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Reports Summarize Macromolecular Research Study Results from University of Maryland (Superabsorbent Hydrogels That Are Robust and Highly Stretchable)

August 15, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Research findings on Macromolecular Research are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting originating in College Park, Maryland, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Polymer hydrogels synthesized by chemical cross-linking of acrylate or acrylamide monomers can absorb more than 100 times their weight in water. However, such gels are usually fragile and rupture when stretched to moderate strains (similar to 50%)."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the University of Maryland, "Many strategies have been developed to create tougher gels, including double-networking, incorporation of nanoparticles as cross-linkers, etc., but these strategies typically retard the water absorbency of the gel. Here, we present a new approach that gives rise to superabsorbent hydrogels having superior mechanical properties. The key to our approach is the self-cross-linking ability of N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMAA). That is, we conduct a free-radical polymerization of DMAA (along with an ionic comonomer such as sodium acrylate) but without any multifunctional monomers. A hydrogel still forms due to interchain covalent bonds between the growing linear polymer chains. Gels formed by this route can be stretched up to 1350% strain in the unswollen state. The same gels are also superabsorbent and can imbibe up to 3000 times their weight in water (which is believed to be a record). Even in the swollen state, these gels can be stretched up to strains similar to 400% before rupture, which substantially exceeds that of conventional superabsorbent gels."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "The superior properties of DMAA-based gels are attributed to a more uniform distribution of cross-links within their networks."

For more information on this research see: Superabsorbent Hydrogels That Are Robust and Highly Stretchable. Macromolecules, 2014;47(13):4445-4452. Macromolecules can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Macromolecules -

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting B.H. Cipriano, University of Maryland, Dept. of Mat Sci & Engn, College Park, MD 20742, United States. Additional authors for this research include S.J. Banik, R. Sharma, D. Rumore, W. Hwang, R.M. Briber and S.R. Raghavan (see also Macromolecular Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Maryland, College Park, United States, Macromolecular Research, North and Central America

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Source: Science Letter

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