Smart Polymers and Coatings Obtained by Ionizing Radiation: Synthesis and Biomedical Applications


Gamma radiation has been shown particularly useful for the functionalization of surfaces with stimuli-responsive polymers. This method involves the formation of active sites (free radicals) onto the polymeric backbone as a result of the exposition to high-energy radiation, in which a proper microenvironment for the reaction among monomer and/or polymer and the active sites takes place, thus leading to propagation which forms side chain grafts. The modification of polymers using high-energy irradiation may be performed by the following methods: direct or simultaneous, pre-irradiation oxidative and pre-irradiation. The most frequent ones correspond to the pre-irradiation oxidative method and the direct one. Radiation-grafting has many advantages over conventional methods considering that it does not require catalyst nor additives to initiate the reaction, and in general, no changes on the mechanical properties with respect to the pristine polymeric matrix are observed. This chapter focused on the synthesis of smart polymers and coatings obtained by the use of gamma radiation. In addition, diverse applications of these materials in the biomedical field are also reported.

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Meléndez-Ortiz, H. , Varca, G. , Lugão, A. and Bucio, E. (2015) Smart Polymers and Coatings Obtained by Ionizing Radiation: Synthesis and Biomedical Applications. Open Journal of Polymer Chemistry, 5, 17-33. doi: 10.4236/ojpchem.2015.53003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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