POLYMER, vol.208, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
pH-responsive terpolymer poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate-2-acrylamido-2-methyl-propanosulfonic acid-diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) cryogels and hydmgels (named as CGs-PHA/Dm and HGs-PHA/Dm) were synthesized in ethanol-water mixture using different monomer feed compositions. By the combination of three monomers, an interesting system was designed with tunable pH/temperature responsiveness and elasticity. ATR-FTIR spectrums obtained after swelling swelling in pH buffer solution of 2.1 indicated -R2NH+ stretching of DEAEMA moities in terpolymer matrices. By incorporation of DEAEMA units with ionizable amino groups, terpolymer CGs-PHA/Dm and HGs-PHA/Dm gels exhibited pH-responsive swelling behavior. Inclusion of DEAEMA dramatically altered pH-responsiveness of terpolymers in simulated intestinal fluid at pH 6.6. Dependence of interaction parameter chi on terpolymer volume fraction in gel nu(2) by a linear function and its enthalpic/entropic components with swelling pH were determined. At pH < 6.6, dependence of chi parameter on the swelling was evaluated as chi = 1.097 - 2.965 nu(2), while at basic pH region, pH > 6.6, chi = 0.576 + 0.459 nu(2). Both pH of swelling medium and the amount of DEAEMA in terpolymer composition affected the compression moduli of terpolymer gels. Flory-Rehner theory extended to correlate the compressive modulus with swelling pH and the dependence of the effective crosslink density nu(e) on mol% DEAEMA was expressed in both acidic and basic conditions. pH-triggered swelling/shrinking of terpolymer gels were studied as reversible cycles in buffer solutions of pH 2.1 and 9.8. DEAEMA-rich terpolymer gels showed overshooting phenomena due to dynamic conformational changes of diethylaminoethyl units. Terpolymer cryogels exhibited much faster swelling kinetics than that of terpolymer hydrogels in simulated gastric fluid at pH 2.1. The values of diffusion coefficient seemed to be strongly dependent of terpolymer composition.