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Thermo-responsive gels that absorb moisture and ooze water.


ABSTRACT: The water content of thermo-responsive hydrogels can be drastically altered by small changes in temperature because their polymer chains change from hydrophilic to hydrophobic above their low critical solution temperature (LCST). In general, such smart hydrogels have been utilized in aqueous solutions or in their wet state, and no attempt has been made to determine the phase-transition behavior of the gels in their dried states. Here we demonstrate an application of the thermo-responsive behavior of an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) gel comprising thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and hydrophilic sodium alginate networks in their dried states. The dried IPN gel absorbs considerable moisture from air at temperatures below its LCST and oozes the absorbed moisture as liquid water above its LCST. These phenomena provide energy exchange systems in which moisture from air can be condensed to liquid water using the controllable hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties of thermo-responsive gels with a small temperature change.

SUBMITTER: Matsumoto K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5998054 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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