UV LED Curing Formulation for Polyacrylamide Hydrogels
Current studies showed that UV LED system is a green technology and highly efficient as compared to UV Mercury (UV Hg) system. In this study, the UV LED curing formulations of polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogels were developed. The formulations consisted of acrylamide (AAm) as a main monomer, N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as a crosslinker and photoinitiator. UV LED emits monochromatic light sources only (365 nm or 385 nm). Thus, in order to developed formulation of UV LED curable hydrogels, a suitable water soluble photoinitiator (i.e. λ ~ 365 nm) has to be employed. A commercially available photoinitiator Oligo [2-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-[4-(1-methylvinyl) phenyl] propanone] under the trade name Chivacure 300 (λ ~ 330 nm) was chosen in the first formulations. However, due to limited solubility in water, addition of tetrahydrofuran (THF) at 9.5:0.5 ratio of water/THF was required for Chivacure 300. We also synthesized a photoinitiator based on 2,2-dimethoxy-2-phenyl acetophenone (DMPA) and methylated-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) to be used in the second formulation. The complexation of DMPA and MβCD resulted in transparent and water-soluble supramolecular-structured photoinitiator (SSPI) (λ ~ 330 nm). Both formulations were irradiated using UV LED system (Hoenle AG, Germany, 365 nm) for 15 min. Synthesis of PAAm hydrogels with both photoinitiators has yielded almost complete conversion of hydrogels (> 80 %). Clearly, this study has revealed that enhanced formulation of UV LED curable hydrogels are due to appropriate choice of excellent water-solubility photoinitiators (Chivacure 300 and modified DMPA). We concluded that UV LED is an important tool for curing hydrogel formulations of various acrylate water-based monomers.
Denni Kurniawan and Fethma M. Nor
N. F. Ayub et al., "UV LED Curing Formulation for Polyacrylamide Hydrogels", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 1125, pp. 84-88, 2015