Abstract: In the past few years, an increasing number of stimuli responsive thin polymer films and intelligent hydrogels have been reported in the literature for various biomedical applications, including drug delivery, tissue engineering and wound healing. The thermo-sensitive approach can be advantageous for some specific applications as it does not require organic solvents, co-polymerization agents, or an externally applied trigger for gelation. The conformation as well as change in physical properties of polymer brushes and polymer hydrogel can be influenced by the environmental stimuli, such as solvent composition, temperature, pH and electric fields. This review focuses on the recent advances of these stimuli responsive molecular thin film and stimuli responsive polymeric gels with unique properties and utilities. We also discuss some conflicting behaviors shown by polymer grafted membrane and polymer gel surfaces, synthesized by using same monomers. Major properties of stimuli responsive thin polymer films, and on their potential application in the field of nano-optics, ultrasensitive spectroscopies and other biomedical applications including drug delivery are also outlined.
Template and target information: Review - stimuli-responsive membranes