POLYMERIC MATERIALS, MICROGELS AND NANOCOMPOSITES.
Dr. Javier I. Amalvy
The main goal of the research activities in the Polymeric Materials Group, is the synthesis and
characterization of new polymeric materials, including microgels and nanocomposites with potential
applications in coatings, adhesives, pharmacy, agriculture, medicine, food and biotechnology.
In polymer nanocomposites, for instance, the polymer chains are confined to nanoscale dimensions
(1-10 nm) and these materials have unusual properties which cannot be obtained simply by comixing
the components at the macroscopic level. Film-forming, silica-based materials are potentially useful
as tough, abrasion-resistant and fire-retardants coatings.
Stimulus-responsive microgels like pH-responsive microgels are used in controlled release of active
principles like theophyline and as stimulus-responsive particulate emulsifiers for preparing emulsions
amenable to demulsification.
These materials are performed using several synthetic techniques like bulk, solution, emulsion,
dispersion and inverse polymerization. The resulting systems are characterized using conventional
techniques including infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), UV-visible spectroscopy, electronic microscopy
(transmission, scanning, environmental), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), atomic force microscopy
(AFM) and more sophisticated ones, like electron spectroscopy image (ESI), X-ray photoelectron
spectroscopy (XPS), and dynamic speckle interferometry. Morphological studies are performed using
small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). Experimental results are
completed with theoretical studies. These results together with other laboratory techniques such as
particle size, surface group density, colloidal stability, zeta potential and molecular weight allow
a complete characterization of these polymeric materials and their correlation with performance.
* “Properties of pH-dependent tertiary amine-based gels as potential drug delivery matrices”.
N. François, M.E. Daraio, O.R. Pardini y J.I. Amalvy
Journal of Applied Polymeric Science 104 (6), 4035-4040 (2007).
* “FTIR, 1H-NMR spectra and thermal characterization of water-based polyurethane/acrylic hybrids”.
O.R. Pardini y J.I. Amalvy
Journal of Applied Polymeric Science 107, 1207-1214 (2008).
* “Film-forming microgels for pH-triggered capture and release”.
P. FitzGerald, J.I. Amalvy, S.P. Armes y E. Wanless
Langmuir 24 (18), 10228-10234 (2008).