A pH/Temperature-Sensitive s-IPN Based on Poly(vinyl alcohol), Poly(vinyl methyl ether-alt-maleic acid) and Poly(vinyl methyl ether) Prepared by Autoclaving

Karla F. García-Verdugo, Andya J. Ramírez-Irigoyen, Mónica Castillo-Ortega, Dora E. Rodríguez-Félix, Jesús M. Quiroz-Castillo, Judith Tánori-Córdova, Francisco Rodríguez-Félix, Antonio Ledezma-Pérez, Teresa del Castillo-Castro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A novel semi-interpenetrating polymer network (s-IPN) based on the entrapment of a thermosensitive polymer, the poly(vinyl methyl ether) (PVME), within a crosslinked 3D structure of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and poly(vinyl methyl ether-alt-maleic acid) (COP) was synthesized by an autoclaving process. The preparation method avoids the use of toxic crosslinkers and allows the simultaneous sterilization of material. The PVA/COP/PVME hydrogel were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermal techniques, swelling kinetic measurements, scanning electron microscopy, and rheological analysis. The entrapment of PVME within the hydrated polymer framework significantly modified its transition temperature at pH 7.4 and pH 3 conditions. The swelling kinetics of the s-IPN were dependent on pH (7.4, 3 and 1), and temperature (25 and 37 °C). The interpenetrated polymer chains reduced the internal pore sizes of crosslinked network without altering its elastic, solid-like behavior. The loading and in vitro release of 5-fluorouracil, a chemotherapeutic agent, from hydrogel systems were studied at different temperature and pH values. The hydrogels showed a sustained drug release up to 5 h at 37 °C, in different pH media. The s-IPN exhibited a promising performance for a range of biomedical applications, in particular, for the controlled drug delivery in response to the pH and temperature conditions.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalMacromolecular Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico, grant number A1-S-26204, Ciencia Básica 2017–2018. Karla García and Andya Ramírez acknowledge CONACYT for their scholarships during this study. The authors thank Dra. Sarai Rochín of the Nanomaterials Laboratory of the UNISON by the rheological measurements. A special thanks to Dra. Irela Santos and Dra. Silvia Burruel by her kindly support for thermal and SEM characterizations, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Polymer Society of Korea and Springer.


  • interpenetrating polymer network
  • LCST
  • pH-sensitive polymer
  • PVME
  • synthesis of hydrogels


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