The development of bulk, three-dimensional (3D), macroporous polymers with high permeability,large surface areas and large volume is highly desirable for a range of applications in the biomedical,biotechnological and environmental areas. The experimental techniques currently used are limited tothe production of small size and volume cryogel material. In this work we propose a novel, versatile,simple and reproducible method for the synthesis of large volume porous polymer hydrogels bycryogelation. By controlling the freezing process of the reagent/polymer solution, large-scale 3Dmacroporous gels with wide interconnected pores (up to 200 μm in diameter) and large accessiblesurface area have been synthesized. For the first time, macroporous gels (of up to 400 ml bulk volume)with controlled porous structure were manufactured, with potential for scale up to much larger geldimensions. This method can be used for production of novel 3D multi-component macroporouscomposite materials with a uniform distribution of embedded particles. The proposed method providesbetter control of freezing conditions and thus overcomes existing drawbacks limiting production oflarge gel-based devices and matrices. The proposed method could serve as a new design concept forfunctional 3D macroporous gels and composites preparation for biomedical, biotechnological andenvironmental applications.
|Article number||21154 (2016)|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Feb 2016|