Hydrogels Essay

1854 Words 8 Pages
Introduction A hydrogel is a jelly-like material made of a network of polymer chains capable of absorbing a significant amount of water; enough to make water constitute 40 to 90% of the material’s weight. Hydrogels have numerous applications but among their most noteworthy are those related to the medical field.1 Numerous hydrogels exhibit a high degree of biocompatibility, making them particularly suitable for controlled and sustained release drug formulations.1,2 The wide variety of hydrogels available also adds to a great diversity in how they can be used in this niche application. In addition to their biocompatibility and hydrophilicity, many hydrogels are also biodegradable.3 This characteristic has the benefit of eliminating the need …show more content…
Slides are wiped with a Kimwipe before being washed with acetone followed by isopropyl alcohol. This ensures minimal contamination and maximum adhesion when attaching the double-sided tape. The well to later hold the hydrogel is then cut into the pressure-sensitive adhesive using a Cricut cutter. One of the glass slides is placed into a specially designed tray and the adhesive is placed over top of it. Needles are then placed on either end of the glass slide (it is through these that material will enter and exit the device) and a second glass slide is pressed on top. The device is then put aside for at least 24 hours as the adhesive bond to glass becomes stronger over …show more content…
The device and tray are then placed under a stereomicroscope for analysis. Lighting for experiments is provided by a 1000 lumen LED lightbulb. Usage of an LED lightbulb ensures that minimal heat will be introduced to the device and the output of light remains constant, ensuring that all pictures are exposed to the same degree of lighting which is a requirement for effective image analysis. Once all of the settings have been in place fluid will be passed through the device and pictures of the system will be taken at periodic intervals over the course of several days. As has been described, air will be passed through the channel to allow greater visibility when images are taken. When viewed sequentially, these pictures will show the change in the appearance of the gel over time. The images will be analyzed using a MATLAB script which analyzes the change in the channel width over time in addition to quantifying hydrogel degradation using a mathematical model similar to those obtained from

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