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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 1994;5(5):383-95.

Do hydrogels contain different classes of water?

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ALZA Corporation, Palo Alto, CA 94303.


In the first part of this article calorimetric studies on poly (hydroxy ethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) are presented. In the past the irregular melting curves in this type of experiment have been interpreted as evidence for the existence of different types of water in these gels. The studies presented here demonstrate that the occurrence of a glass transition in the freezing hydrogels may be responsible for this irregular melting behavior, and that this behavior is not (necessarily) an indication for the existence of different types of water. In the second part results are shown of measurements of the mobility of water in hydrogels, made by relaxation NMR. These results indicate that very rapid interchange occurs between the water molecules, and they support the conclusion that the calorimetric data mentioned above are not indicative for the existence of different classes of water in hydrogels. These results are compared with data from other fields of science, especially from fundamental freeze drying studies, which support the alternative interpretation of the calorimetric measurements.

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