Effect of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Molecular Weight on the Characteristics of Radiation Synthesized p(AAc/PVA/PEO) Hydrogel Membranes


  • Samera A. Al-Gahtany Department of Physical Science, Faculty of Science, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, 21959, Saudi Arabia.


Gamma irradiation, PVA M.wt, hydrogel membranes and pH


This study investigates the effect of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) molecular weight (M.wt) on swelling behavior, X-ray diffraction (XRD) characteristics, thermal stability, and surface morphology of p(AAc/PVA/PEO) hydrogel membranes. The p(AAc/PVA/PEO) hydrogel membranes were prepared using the gamma irradiation crosslinking method. The high-energy gamma rays induced crosslinking
reactions within the solution, resulting in the formation of a three-dimensional network structure, or hydrogel, through the formation of chemical bonds between the polymer chains. The swelling behavior of the obtained hydrogel was evaluated at different pH values (3, 5, 7, and 9) and temperatures (20°C and 37.5°C). As the PVA molecular weight increases from 33k to 125k, the swelling degree of the
hydrogel membranes also increases. For example, at pH 3 and 10 minutes, the swelling degrees for PVA M.wt 33k, 90k, and 125k are 49 %, 68 %, and 96 %, respectively. Similar trends are observed at pH 5, pH 7 and pH 9. XRD analysis reveals that the degree of crystallinity in the hydrogel membranes increases with increasing PVA molecular weight. Thermal stability analysis demonstrates that higher
molecular weight PVA imparts better thermal stability to the hydrogel membranes. These findings contribute to the understanding and design of hydrogel-based materials for various applications in fields such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and biomaterial development.