pH-reversible magnetic gel with a biodegradable polymer

Jhunu Chatterjee, Yousef Haik, Ching Jen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer gels that react to external stimuli, such as pH, temperature, and electromagnetic fields, are an important class of materials. Such materials have pharmaceutical, industrial, and biomedical applications. Our intention in this study was to synthesize a stimuli-responsive polymer gel with a biodegradable polymer. However, the chemical crosslinker, divinyl sulfone, which is most widely used for the crosslinking of this type of material, is highly toxic in nature. To overcome this problem, a reversible magnetic gel was synthesized with hydroxy propyl cellulose (HPC) and maghemite at pH 13 without with a chemical crosslinker. With a decrease in pH from 13 to 9, the gel formed a homogeneous dispersion of HPC particles with maghemite in it. This process was a reversible physical gelation where the crosslinks of the network had a physical origin (in this case, hydrogen bonding) and, therefore, were sensitive to variations in pH. When this physically prepared gel was compared with the chemically crosslinked one, no significant differences in structural properties were noted. At higher pH values, the gel was formed due to weak intermolecular hydrogen bonding, as observed by the broadening of the IR band in both the magnetic and non magnetic gels. Transmission electron micrographs also showed no significant difference in the gel morphology. Differential scanning calorimetry showed an increase in melting temperature for the gel sample compared to that of pure HPC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3337-3341
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 5 2004


  • Biodegradable
  • Gels
  • Magnetic polymers
  • Nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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