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1. (WO2017040851) HYDROGELS WITH IMPROVED MECHANICAL PROPERTIES BELOW WATER FREEZING TEMPERATURE

Pub. No.:    WO/2017/040851    International Application No.:    PCT/US2016/049994
Publication Date: Fri Mar 10 00:59:59 CET 2017 International Filing Date: Fri Sep 02 01:59:59 CEST 2016
IPC: C08F 220/06
C08J 3/075
C08J 3/24
H01G 9/022
Applicants: PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE
Inventors: ILLEPERUMA, Widusha
SUO, Zhigang
VLASSAK, Joost, J.
Title: HYDROGELS WITH IMPROVED MECHANICAL PROPERTIES BELOW WATER FREEZING TEMPERATURE
Abstract:
Hydrogel compositions, and corresponding methods of making, are provided. The hydrogels do not freeze, or only partially freeze, over a wide range of temperatures below the freezing temperature of water. Concurrently, these hydrogels also retain their room temperature mechanical properties (e.g., strength, modulus, elasticity) over a wide range of temperatures, including temperatures below the freezing temperature of water. The hydrogels are synthesized by adding a suitable amount of a salt together with previously cross-linked polymer gel. Hydration of the gel with aqueous solutions containing the prescribed salts not only depresses the hydrogel freezing point but protects the structure. For example, the salts do not allow the hydrogel to completely freeze, thus protecting the hydrogel from brittle failure. Whether the hydrogels partially freeze or remain non-frozen when chilled below the freezing temperature of water is determined by concentration of salt within the hydrogel.