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Characterising nanogels

13th November 2018


Testa Analytical Solutions reports how the Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry at the Lodz University of Technology (Poland) determined molecular weight and radius of gyration of polymeric microgels and nanogels by static multiangle laser light scattering (SLS) measurements using a BI-200SM goniometer.

A nanogel is a two-component system of a diameter in the range of tens of nanometers, consisting of an intramolecularly crosslinked polymer chain and solvent, typically water, filling the space between segments of the macromolecule. Microgels are bigger than nanogels and their size range is between 100 nm to 100 µm. A common method for synthesizing nanogels is linking the segments of a single macromolecule with the use of ionizing radiation, by intramolecular recombination of radiation-generated polymer radicals. The main advantage of this technique is absence of monomers, catalysts, surfactants or crosslinking agents. This method is an interesting alternative way of synthesizing polymeric carriers for biomedical applications.

The aim of the study by the Polish researchers was radiation synthesis and characterization of poly(acrylic acid) ­PAA ­ nanogels and microgels. 

Dr Slawomir Kadlubowski from the Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry commented "The BI-200SM goniometer is a precision instrument designed for demanding SLS measurements on macromolecules. As you would expect from a research grade system the BI-200SM can measure light scattering over a wide angular range at very high precision. We particularly liked the BI-200SM Particle Explorer software suite as it enabled us to make fast and easy data collection and analysis. These attributes combined with excellent technical support from Testa Analytical have enabled us to precisely characterise the complex PAA microgels and nanogels that we have synthesised."





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