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Open Access Shape memory supramolecular networks for the photoregulated adsorption and release of model molecules

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Multifunctional semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) constituted of poly(methacrylic acid-co-4phenylazomaleinanil) (MAA-AzoMI) and Pluronic was designed and prepared, which is stabilized by hydrogenbonding interactions between PMAA carboxylic protons and Pluronic ether group. The characteristics of the materials were investigated by FTIR spectra, DSC, DMA and swelling measurements. Because of a large difference in storage modulus below and above the glass transition temperature, the semi-IPN material shows excellent shape memory effect with a recovery ratio of nearly 98%. For this system, the fixing phase is the MAA-AzoMI network, while the reversible phase is the PMAA-Pluronic complex phase. Meanwhile, by introducing azobenzene side group, this supramolecular network is sensitive to UV and visible light. The photoinduced trans → cis isomerization of azobenzene chromophores in the semi-IPN material leads to a transition from hydrophilicity to hydrophobicity of the polymer network. Therefore, UV light can induce a rapid autoloading of drug molecules into the network, and then the bound model molecules can be released under visible light.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Materials Express is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal reporting emerging researches on materials science, engineering, technology and biology. Cutting-edge researches on the synthesis, characterization, properties, and applications of a very wide range of materials are covered for broad readership; from physical sciences to life sciences. In particular, the journal aims to report advanced materials with interesting electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical and catalytic properties for industrial applications.
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