Synthesis and characterization of thermoresponsive poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogels and their magnetic nanocomposites

Samantha A. Meenach, Kimberly W. Anderson, J. Zach Hilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Temperature-responsive hydrogels are one of the most widely studied types of stimuli-responsive hydrogel systems. Their ability to transition between their swollen and collapsed states makes them attractive for controlled drug delivery, microfluidic devices, and biosensor applications. Recent work has shown that poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) methacrylate polymers are temperature-responsive and exhibit a wide range of lower critical solution temperatures based on the length of ethylene glycol units in the macromer chain. The addition of iron oxide nanoparticles into the hydrogel matrix can provide the ability to remotely heat the gels upon exposure to an alternating magnetic field (AMF). In this work, diethylene glycol (n = 2) methyl ether methacrylate and PEG (n = 4.5) methyl ether methacrylate copolymers were polymerized into hydrogels with 5 mol % PEG 600 (n = 13.6) dimethacrylate as the crosslinker along with 5 wt % iron oxide nanoparticles. Volumetric swelling studies were completed from 22 to 80 °C and confirmed the temperature-responsive nature of the hydrogel systems. The ability of the gels to collapse in response to rapid temperature changes when exposed to an AMF was demonstrated showing their potential use in biomedical applications such as controlled drug delivery and hyperthermia therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3229-3235
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • Hydrogels
  • Magnetic
  • Nanocomposites
  • PEG
  • Stimulisensitive polymers
  • Temperature-responsive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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