Poly(methyl methacrylate) nanosize particles, made by microemulsion polymerization, were dispersed in an acrylamide aqueous solution, which was polymerized in the presence of a cross-linking agent to yield microstructured hydrogels. The kinetics of swelling and the mechanical properties of these hydrogels were investigated as a function of concentration of particles. The microstructured hydrogels exhibit higher equilibrium swelling and larger Young modulus than conventional (that is, without particles) polyacrylamide hydrogel. The morphology of the microstructured hydrogels was examined by transmission electron microscopy. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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