Raman Spectroscopy as a Tool for Measuring Mutual-Diffusion Coefficients in Hydrogels
Abstract:Raman spectroscopy has been exploited to characterize the diffusion properties of solutes in hydrogels. Raman active vibrations were used as intrinsic probes of the solute concentration along gel cylinders. The resulting one-dimensional solute distribution, characterized as a function of both time and space, could be analyzed with a model based on Fick's diffusion law, and the mutual-diffusion coefficient (D m) was then determined. To illustrate the potential of this approach, we measured the D m of two polyethylene glycols (PEG) in Ca-alginate gels. In this case, the intensity of the CH stretching band was used to obtain the concentration profiles of PEGs, whereas the OH stretching band of water was used as an internal intensity standard. In addition to providing a straightforward approach to measuring diffusion coefficients, the Raman profile analysis provides information relative to the accessibility of gels to large molecules. As an example, it was found that the PEG penetration in Ca-alginate gels was restricted, a phenomenon that was dependent on PEG size. The Raman technique presented here effectively characterizes transport properties of solutes in gels, and such characterization is required for developing several technical applications of gels, such as their use as materials for controlled release of drugs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2003
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