Effect of compression on fast swelling of poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic acid) superporous hydrogels

J Biomed Mater Res. 2001 Apr;55(1):54-62. doi: 10.1002/1097-4636(200104)55:1<54::aid-jbm80>3.0.co;2-y.


Superporous hydrogels (SPHs) swell to a large size in a very short time. In many applications it is preferred to compress SPHs to reduce the overall dimension in the dried state. The effects of compression on the swelling property of SPHs were examined. The swelling property of the compressed SPHs was dependent on the orientation of the SPHs during compression. If SPHs were compressed in an orientated manner so that they retained interconnected porous structure, they were able to swell to near equilibrium within 10 min of immersion in aqueous fluids. If SPHs were compressed in a manner that did not retain the open pore structure, the swelling rate was greatly reduced. The results showed that the SPHs could be compressed without significant sacrifice of the fast swelling property if compressed in a proper orientation. Because pores were formed owing to the generation of gas which rose from bottom to the top of the container, the compression parallel to the pore formation resulted in preservation of the pore structure, and thus fast swelling property. The ability to compress SPHs, maintaining the fast swelling property, is expected to be useful in various applications including development of gastric retention devices for oral drug delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamides / chemical synthesis
  • Acrylamides / chemistry*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Humidity
  • Hydrogels / chemical synthesis
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Plasticizers
  • Time Factors
  • Water


  • Acrylamides
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Plasticizers
  • poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic acid)
  • Water