Investigation of the effects of orientation on freeze/thawed Polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel properties.
Chee, Bor Shin
de Lima, Gabriel Goetten
Devine, Declan M.
Nugent, Michael J. D.
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Although hydrogels produced via freeze-thawing (F/T) technique have been thoroughly studied in literature, stretching hydrogels in between freeze-thawing cycles could change its properties and might be modulated for drug delivery systems. The PVA hydrogels and Caffeine-contained PVA hydrogels were created by freezing for 20 minutes using liquid nitrogen and 4 hours thawing at 4° C. The results revealed that the PVA/CAF hydrogel with two F/T cycles followed by two stretching (S) cycles delivered the best response. Furthermore, this sample had the highest crystallinity degree and Young’s modulus of 36 % and 1462 MPa, respectively, which makes this hydrogel very stiff in comparison to all other samples. Moreover, it fits in the Hixson-Crowell drug release model with the fastest drug releasing rate, 15 minutes, and the highest swelling degree of 470 %. Therefore, the study suggests that the number of F/T cycles and stretching cycles influences the properties of the resulting hydrogels and the caffeine release rate.
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