Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: Chemistry (not Biochemistry)
Tiara C. Harrell - North Carolina Central University
Liquo-GelTM(LG) is a four component copolymer that readily dissolves in water to form a solution that can be manipulated by syringe. It is composed of N-isopropryl acrylamide (NIPAAm), hydroxyethyl methacrylate-polyactide (HEMA-PLA), acrylic acid (AAc), and methacrylated hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG-MA). Each of the four components give LG a unique property and function. The ability of the substance to change from a liquid to a gel is provided by NIPAAm. HEMA-PLA facilitates degradation of the copolymer and acrylic acid contributes a hydrophilic component that increases transition temperature after it is dissolved. The HPG-MA provides hydroxyl groups for covalent attachment of other substances (i.e. drugs, dyes, etc.). This bonding element is integral to the function of LG as it allows substances to covalently attach to the outer surface of the molecule and detach when in use. The phase transition element of the copolymer assists with function by entrapping co-dissolved substances once the liquid-to-gel transition occurs and releasing them over time due to degradation and diffusion. In this experiment, the effect of LG concentration in water on transition temperature is evaluated. Determination of this correlation is useful when deciding what concentration of LG is best suited for manipulation inside the human body. The temperature range used in this experiment (10°C-40°C) includes that of the human body. Observing a change in sample intensity over this temperature range for five different concentrations has led to the conclusion that a 13% LG solution is best suited for manipulation. This experiment contributes to the overall improvement of LG and provides a small, yet significant, data point with which to optimize the function of the substance.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): MSEIP-DREAM STEM Summer Program; Darlene Taylor (mentor); Katya K. De La Torre (graduate research technician)
Faculty Advisor: Darlene Taylor, email@example.com
Role: Run the UV-Vis scattering at 500nm and test the five different concentrations of LG.