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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) microgels and their use in bioengineering applications Event

17 November 2017
Building 06, Room 1083 (L/R/C)

Event details

Abstract: One of the most studied thermo-responsive polymer is poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) exhibiting low critical solution temperature (LCST) at about 32°C, which is an attractive range for biomedical applications. PNIPAM microgels are able to change their behaviour between hard- and ultra-soft colloids, undergoing to a rapid but reversible volume phase transition (VPT), at LCST, from a swollen hydrophilic state to a collapsed hydrophobic state in response to rapid change of temperature. The incorporation of another responsive polymer, such as the pH responsive poly(acrylic acid) (PAAc), into preformed PNIPAM microgels results in dual-responsive interpenetrated polymer networks (IPNs) able to give independent response to pH and temperature changes. In the talk, the preparation of IPN microgels of PNIPAM and PAAc at different ratio of the two components as well as the post modification of particles will be described. The effect of the composition on particles properties as well as the possibility to prepare thin PNIPAM/PAAc films after post modification of the microgels will be discussed by presenting some examples from the research activity that has been recently undertaken in the CNR laboratory in Pisa.

Speaker information

Dr Monica Bertoldo,Institute for Chemical and Physical Processes, National Research Council, Pisa, Italy ,Biography: Dr Monica Bertoldo obtained a master degree in Chemistry at the University of Ferrara in 1997. She spent one year at the Research Centre “G. Natta” of Montell S.p.a. to study polyolefin copolymers and, in 1999, she was awarded a PhD scholarship at Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. She obtained her PhD degree in 2003, working on the Migration of Small Molecules from Polypropylene Based Materials under the supervision of prof. F. Ciardelli. She worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Italian National Institute for Physic Matter from 2002 to 2005 where she studied different materials for packaging applications. In 2005 she became associate researcher at Polylab-INFM-CNR with prof. P. Rolla to study physical properties of polymers at interfaces. Since 2010 she is researcher at the Institute for Chemical-Physical Processes, part of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche of Italy in Pisa. Currently her main research interests include chemical modification and blending of natural polymers, preparation of colloidal systems based on biodegradable polymers, synthesis of Janus silica particles, and thermal and pH responsive colloidal hydrogels. These materials are investigated for possible applications as adhesives, smart coatings or in engineered devices. She is co-author of 42 papers on peer-reviewed journals, 2 patents and more than 80 presentations to international and national conferences. Since 2015 she’s lecturer of Polymer Material Technology at the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Pisa.

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