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RAFT controlled synthesis of graphene/polymer hydrogel with enhanced mechanical property for pH-controlled drug release
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Liu, L Cui, Na Kong, Colin BarrowColin Barrow, Wenrong YangWenrong Yang
A pH-sensitive, mechanically strong and thermally stable graphene/poly (acrylic acid) (graphene/PAA) hydrogel was prepared via reversible addition fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerizations in the presence of a cross-linking agent. The RAFT agent was covalently coupled onto graphene basal planes via an esterification reaction, with benzoic acid functionalities pre-attached on graphene with its aryl diazonium salt precursor. AFM and SEM analysis revealed the successful preparation of single layered graphene sheets and graphene/polymer hydrogels with pH controlled porous structures. Attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) and thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) verified the successful stepwise preparation of graphene/PAA hydrogel. This graphene/PAA hydrogel was pH-sensitive and more mechanically elastic than the PAA hydrogel prepared without graphene. The pH sensitivity of the hydrogel was further utilized for controlled drug release. Doxorubicin was chosen as a model drug and loaded into the hydrogels. The drug loading and release experiment indicated that this hydrogel can be used to efficiently control drug release in the intestine environment (pH = 7.4), better than release in a more acidic environment.© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.