A series of temperature sensitive hydrogels was prepared by free-radical crosslinking copolymerization of N-t-butylacrylamide (TBA) and acrylamide in methanol. N,N'-methylenebis(acrylamide) was used as the crosslinker. It was shown that the swelling behavior of the hydrogels can be controlled by changing the amount of TBA units in the network chains. Hydrogels immersed in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)-water mixtures exhibited reentrant swelling behavior, in which the gels first deswell then reswell if the DMSO content of the solvent mixture is continuously increased. In water over the temperature range of 2-64 degreesC, hydrogels with less than 40% TBA by mole were in a swollen state while those with TBA contents higher than 60% were in a collapsed state. Hydrogels with 40-60% TBA exhibited swelling-deswelling transition in water depending on the temperature. The temperature interval for the deswelling transition of 60% TBA gel was found to be in the range from 10 to 28 degreesC, while for the 40% TBA gel, the deswelling started at about 20 degreesC and continued until the onset of the hydrolysis of the network chains at around 64 degreesC. It was shown that the Flory-Rehner theory of swelling equilibrium provides a satisfactory agreement to the experimental swelling data of the hydrogels, provided that the sensitive dependence of the X parameter on both temperature and polymer concentration is taken into account. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.