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Iranian researchers from Islamic Azad University used nanotechnology to produce nanohydrogels with applications in various industries, including medicine, pharmaceutics and agriculture.
The nanohydrogels have very high adsorption capacity for water and biological and pharmaceutical solutions and enjoy highly good antibacterial properties too.
Hydrogels have chain-like structure of polymeric chains and are able to adsorb and hold large quantity of water and physiologic solutions. The development in the production and investigation of super adsorbent hydrogels is very important due to their numerous applications. In this research, the optimum production methods, the behavior of the final hydrogels and their applications have been investigated.
The nanohydrogels produced in this study are hydrophilic, flexible and biodegradable, and they can adsorb high amount of water. Based on the results, there are silver nanoparticles in the network structure of the nanohydrogel. Antibacterial behavior against gram negative and gram positive microorganisms due to the formation of these nanoparticles inside the structure is among the most important characteristics of the product. High thermal resistance is another important characteristic of the hydrogel.
"There is usually large space in the network of hydrogels between the cross-linkers, and they act as nano-reactors during the swelling. Among the advantages of the formation of nanoparticles in the network, mention can be made of their performance for a long time, extraction with water in the required time, and size and shape control by changing the functional groups. Therefore, the combination of silver nanoparticles and hydrogels create a new multi-structural material with new properties," Fereshteh Qena'at, one of the researchers, said.
The multi-structural super adsorbent has applications in agriculture, textile and hygienic and cosmetics industries as well as cement manufacturing and water purification.
Results of the research have been published in Polymer Research, vol. 21, issue 355, February 2014, pp. 1-14.
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