Light induced synthesis and characterization of clickable polyacrylamide hydrogels

Bilgiç, Mehmet Bilgehan
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Graduate School
Hermann Staudinger's groundbreaking study on macromolecules was recognized with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on December 10, 1953. "High Polymers Bring High Honors" became a worldwide headline. Staudinger had identified the molecular blueprints of natural and synthetic "polymeric materials" with high molecular weights. His groundbreaking concept, which involved covalently bonding a large number of small monomer molecules to form macromolecules, ushered in a new age of molecular design of high molecular weight structural and functional polymeric materials. Polymeric materials are unique in their ability to combine an attractive cost to performance ratio, low energy demand during preparation and processing, flexible feedstock supply, simple processing with short cycle times typical of modern industrial mass production, and extraordinary versatility in terms of property profiles, application ranges, and waste recycling. Step-growth (condensation) polymerization and chain-growth (addition) polymerization are the two types of polymerization processes that can be classified kinetically. The propagation methods of polymer chains can also be used to classify these procedures. The propagation of the chains in addition polymerization are formed by radical, cationic, and anionic reactions, whereas the propagation of the chains in step-growth polymerization are formed by polyaddition and polycondensation processes. Polymers can be prepared by several techniques. Among theses techniques, photopolymerization is a rapidly growing technology since it offers several advantages over thermal polymerization. Higher rates of polymerization, temporal and spatial control, environmental benefits from the elimination of volatile organic compounds are some of the advantages of photopolymerization over thermal polymerization. In addition, probability of side reactions such as chain transfer to occur gets lower enabling the synthesis of more ordered macromolecules. Although constituting a minimal amount in the formulation of a photopolymer, photoinitiators play a vital role by absorbing the light in ultraviolet-visible spectral range, typically between 250 and 450 nm, and converting this light energy into chemical energy in the form of reactive intermediates including free radicals, cations and anions, which then initiate photopolymerization. The two types of free radical initiators are Type I (α-cleavage) and Type II (H abstraction). Substituted carbonyl and aromatic compounds such as benzoin and its derivatives, benzyl ketals and acetophenones are the most common Type I (unimolecular) initiators. On the other hand, Type II photoinitiators, also known as bimolecular photoinitiators, are photoiniating systems that include a photoinitiator including benzophenone, thioxanthone, or quinone, as well as a co-initiator such as an alcohol or amine. Since the first definition made by Staudinger in 1920s, in 100 years, polymer science has witnessed remarkable progress. "Smart polymeric materials" are an example of state-of-the-art polymers. Hydrogels belong to the smart polymeric materials subclass and defined as crosslinked polymers which can absorb large quantities of water due to their hydrophilic structure while not being dissolved as a consequence of their crosslinked structure. Today, they are widely used to produce groundbreaking smart gadgets, sensors, and actuators; their capabilities arise from their capacity to react to external stimuli with an observable reaction. According to their source, hydrogels can be classified as natural and synthetic. Some of the most common examples of natural and synthetic hydrogels are hyaluronic acid and polyacrylamide, respectively. One of the most important features of hydrogels is to possess suitable functionalities for post-synthetic modifications that can support their extended applications. Chemical bonds, permanent or temporary physical entanglements, and secondary interactions, such as hydrogen bonds, can all be used to cross-link hydrogels. In physiological conditions, covalent cross-links are often stable. Mechanical properties can be tuned by altering the ratios of reactants in synthetic hydrogels. Toxic chemicals utilized in the manufacturing of these hydrogels, on the other hand, may diminish their biocompatibility. Polyacrylamide, a polymer of the acrylamide monomer, is a colorless hydrogel that is durable, nonresorbable, nontoxic, and nonimmunogenic, as well as hydrophilic, viscoelastic, cohesive, and biocompatible. Due to these attractive properties, polyacrylamide hydrogels are among the most widely studied hydrogels. By applying appropriate modification methods, functional groups which can tune swelling and enhance mechanical properties can be incorporated into polyacrylamide hydrogels. Coined by K. Barry Sharpless in 2001, "click chemistry" is a family of biocompatible reactions utilized in bioconjugation that allows specific biomolecules to be joined to specified substrates. Click chemistry is not a single specific reaction, but rather a method of producing compounds that mimic natural instances and molecules by connecting small modular parts. Click reactions connect a biomolecule with a reporter molecule in a variety of applications. The concept of a "click" reaction has been employed in chemoproteomic, pharmacological, and different biomimetic applications, and it is not confined to biological settings. Following Sharpless' innovative classification of a number of idealized processes as click reactions, the materials science and synthetic chemistry research groups have followed a variety of paths to identify and execute these click reactions. Christopher N. Bowman has reviewed the radical-mediated thiol-ene reaction as an example. This reaction has all of the ideal characteristics of a click reaction: it is extremely efficient, simple to execute, produces no side products, and gives a high yield rapidly. Furthermore, the thiol–ene reaction is frequently photoinitiated, especially for photopolymerizations that result in highly uniform polymer networks, boosting unique spatial and temporal control capabilities of the click reaction. Copper-catalyzed-azide-alkyne-cycloaddition reaction is another model example of a click reaction. In this reaction, an azide is reacted with a terminal alkyne to produce 1,2,3-triazole. This reaction is regiospecific since it only forms 1,4-disubstituted product, can be carried out at a wide range of temperatures and pH values, in a variety of solvents including water. Furthermore, it is 107 times faster than the uncatalyzed reaction, making it an ideal candidate for the modification of hydrogels. In the present work, a facile synthesis of clickable polyacrylamide hydrogel by photopolymerization using acrylamide and propargyl acrylate in the presence of different photoinitiators and in the absence of any crosslinking agent under ultraviolet and visible light is reported. Clickable polyacrylamide hydrogels were synthesized in the presence of Irgacure 2959 (water soluble photoinitiator), BAPO (visible light photoinitiator) and DMPA. Afterwards, gel synthesized by water soluble initiator was irradiated for 3 h, 6 h, 9 h and 24 h. The effect of irradiation time on gel fraction, swelling degree and compressive elasticity was investigated. Thiol-ene, thiol-yne and copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition click functionality of the produced hydrogels were confirmed by using respective fluorescent click components. Furthermore, the effect of hydrophobicity on swelling degree was examined by clicking 1,6- hexanedithiol onto hydrogels.
Thesis (M.Sc.) -- İstanbul Technical University, Graduate School, 2022
Anahtar kelimeler
photopolymerization, fotopolimerleşme, copolymers, kopolimerler, polyacrylamide, poliakrilamid, radical polymerization, radikal polimerleşme, click chemistry, çııtçıt kimyası