Dynamic pH-dependent swelling properties of a hydrophobic polyelectrolyte gel

Bruce A. Firestone, Ronald A. Siegel

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83 Scopus citations


The equilibrium and kinetic aqueous swelling properties of a lightly crosslinked hydrophobic polyelectrolyte gel containing methyl methacrylate (70 mol%) and N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (30 mol%) have been measured as a function of pH at 25°C and constant ionic strength. This gel adopts a collapsed hydrophobic state at and above neutral pH, but becomes highly swollen as the pH is lowered. The transition between the collapsed and the swollen states is discrete, occurring with a small reduction in pH at 6.6. Swelling kinetics are also highly pH dependent. Swelling kinetic profiles from the dry state display a characteristic rate acceleration just prior to the attainment of equilibrium. Small molecular tracer kinetic studies have allowed us to eliminate diffusion of water as a possible rate determining factor in the relaxation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-208
Number of pages5
JournalPolymer communications Guildford
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1988


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