Stimuli-responsive Polymer Systems: A Review of Thermo-associative Thickening

October 2, 2006 | Contact Author | By: Robert Y. Lochhead, The University of Southern Mississippi
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Keywords: stimuli-responsive | thermal gelling | thermo-thickening | lower critical solution temperature | hydrophobically modified hydrophilic polymers

Abstract: This article reviews recent trends in thermally initiated stimuli-responsive materials and provides some insight into the physicochemical mechanisms that underpin this behavior.

Water-soluble polymers and thickeners continue to grow in market volume and diversity. Today there is a noticeable trend toward cosmetic applications that depend upon stimuli-responsive behavior that results in thermo-associative thickening at desired temperatures. This article reviews recent trends in thermally initiated stimuli-responsive materials and provides some insight into the physicochemical mechanisms that underpin this fascinating behavior.