456687 Crosslinker Length Affects the Modulus of Poly(acrylamide)-Silica Nanoparticle Hydrogel Composites

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Andrew Chang, Josergio Zaragoza and Prashanth Asuri, Bioengineering, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA

Polymer hydrogels have shown to exhibit improved properties upon the addition of nanoparticles; however, the mechanical underpinnings behind these enhancements have not been fully elucidated. Moreover, fewer studies have focused on developing an understanding of how polymer parameters affect the nanoparticle-mediated enhancements. In this study, we investigated the elastic properties of silica nanoparticle-reinforced poly(acrylamide) hydrogels synthesized using crosslinkers of various lengths. Crosslinker length positively affected the mechanical properties of hydrogels that were synthesized with or without nanoparticles. However the degree of nanoparticle enhancement was negatively correlated to crosslinker length. Our findings enable the understanding of the respective roles of nanoparticle and polymer properties on nanoparticle-mediated enhancement of hydrogels and thereby the development of next-generation nanocomposite materials. 

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