Systematic evaluation of pH and thermoresponsive poly(n-isopropylacrylamide-chitosan-fluorescein) microgel

Pedro Hernández, Armando Lucero-Acuña, Cindy Alejandra Gutiérrez-Valenzuela, Ramón Moreno, Reynaldo Esquivel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The interesting properties of stimuli-responsive polymers lead to a wide range of possibilities in design and engineering of functional material for the biomedical application. A systematic approach focused on the evaluation of the physical properties of multiresponse (pH and temperature) PNIPAM was reported in this work. The effect of three different molar ratios of poly(n-isopropylacrylamide): chitosan (1:49, 1:99 and 1:198) were evaluated and labeled correspondingly as PC1F, PC2F, and PC3F. An increase in the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of sample PC1F (34°C) was observed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The presence of low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) full-interpenetrating polymer (Full-IPN) segments in poly(n-isopropylacrylamide) was confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The hydrogel's water capture was analyzed by two models of swelling, the power law model and a model that considers the relaxation of polymeric chains of the hydrogel, finding good correlations with experimental data in both cases. Sample PC3F resulted with higher swellability, increasing the weight of the hydrogel around seven times. Hydrogel pH-sensibility was confirmed placing the samples at different pH environments, with an apparent increase in swellability for acidic conditions, confirming the highest swellability for sample PC3F, due to hydrogen bonds boosted by chitosan high molar ratio. Based on these results, the hydrogel obtained has potential as a thermo-pH triggered hydrogel in drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 28 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • chitosan
  • kinetics of swelling
  • microgels
  • stimuli-responsive polymers


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