Multi-responsive microgel of a water-soluble monomer via emulsion polymerization
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Microgel of a water-soluble monomer [2-(N-morpholino)ethyl methacrylate (MEMA)] was successfully prepared in aqueous media via emulsion polymerization by using a novel water-soluble block copolymer as stabilizer. Characterization studies confirmed monodisperse spherical morphologies of microgels with a diameter of 280 nm at neutral pH. These microgels exhibited multi-responsive behavior by responding solution pH, temperature, ionic strength, type of dispersing media, and magnetic particles. It swells well at low pH (<6.0) and at low temperature, but shrinks above pH 6.0, or even more shrinks with salt addition at neutral and basic conditions. In addition, the hydrodynamic diameter of PMEMA microgel was decreased gradually at basic and neutral pH when solution temperature was increased up to the lower critical solution temperature of PMEMA (LCST, 35 degrees C), but microgel diameter did not change much above LCST. Multi-responsive behavior of PMEMA microgel was investigated by using dynamic light scattering, UV-Vis spectrophotometer and zeta potentiometer. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 42072.