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Saturday, 28 March 2020
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Nanotechnology

Characterization of microgels

Monday, 10 August 2009

As researchers discover new and widespread applications for stimulus-responsive microgels, known as "smart polymers”, the Zetasizer Nano system from Malvern Instruments is fast emerging as theirsystem of choice for particle characterization.

Agar microgels coated with a bi-layer of chitosan and fluorescein labelled alginate imaged by confocal microscopy. Source: Unilever, Colworth

Agar microgels coated with a bi-layer of chitosan and fluorescein labelled alginate imaged by confocal microscopy. Source: Unilever, Colworth

Microgels are particles of cross-linked polymer networks dispersed in a medium, such as water. These polymers, which range from 100 nm to 1 µm in diameter, can undergo rapid, reversible and dramatic phase transitions when triggered by slight environmental variations in temperature, pH or ionic strength. Medical applications for smart polymers range from diagnosis to intelligent distribution of drugs and actuators (such as artificial muscles and valves), while other sectors are benefiting from new technologies for microelectronic sensors and environmentally adaptive clothing. The Zetasizer Nano series from Malvern Instruments enables the study of very small, weakly scattering particles such as polymers at low concentrations. Its novel arrangement of optics maximises detection of scattered light while maintaining signal quality. The wide range of sample properties available for measurement with the system include, particle size, molecular weight, and zeta potential.

related links:

http://www.malvern.com/zetasizer

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