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Linear Control of Moisture Permeability and Anti-adhesion of Bacteria in a Broad Temperature Region Realized by Cross-Linking Thermoresponsive Microgels onto Cotton Fabrics

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journal contribution
posted on 09.08.2019, 17:36 by Pan Gu, Na Fan, Yexin Wang, Jiping Wang, Peter Müller-Buschbaum, Qi Zhong
Linear control of moisture permeability and anti-adhesion of bacteria in a broad temperature region are realized by cross-linking thermoresponsive microgels onto cotton fabrics. The microgels are copolymerized by monomers di­(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (MEO2MA), (ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (OEGMA300), and ethylene glycol methacrylate (EGMA) with a molar ratio of 10:10:1. Transition temperatures of PMEO2MA and POEGMA300 are 25 and 60 °C, respectively. Due to the compression of already collapsed PMEO2MA to still swollen POEGMA300, the microgels present a linear shrinkage in a broad temperature region (20–70 °C). Additionally, the contact angle of the microgels stays below 60° even if the temperature is increased to 50 °C, illustrating the reserved surface hydrophilicity. The obtained microgels are cross-linked onto cotton fabrics by 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic (BTCA). The weight gain ratios (WGRs) are 15% and 30%. The moisture permeability shows an excellent linear increase between 20 and 50 °C when the WGR is 30%, which is attributed to the linear shrinkage of the cross-linked microgels upon heating. Because the moisture permeability is related to the fabric comfort, a linear control of comfort is obtained. In addition, the cross-linked cotton fabrics can realize 96.5% bacterial anti-adhesion at 30 °C as the surface remains hydrophilic. On the basis of these two unique properties, the realized cotton fabrics cross-linked with microgels are promising for application as smart textiles for wound addressing.