(32b) Flexible Towel-like Polymer That Can Rapidly Mop up Blood
AIChE Annual Meeting
2021 Annual Meeting
Materials Engineering and Sciences Division
Polymer Networks and Gels
Sunday, November 7, 2021 - 3:45pm to 4:00pm
Here, we present a simple and low-cost approach to create solid gels that are both porous and highly robust. Our approach involves the polymerization of a foamed monomer solution, with the bubbles of the foam being stabilized by novel polymers. The final dried material is typically in the form of a sheet (thickness ~ 1 mm, length and width from 1 to 100 cm). The sheet is flexible and robust; it can be rolled up like a paper towel and cut into patches of desired size. When added to water, the gel-sheet absorbs 150 times its weight in water within 30 s, and the swollen sheet can be lifted up by hand.
We expect this type of superabsorbent material to have applications in many applications, one of which is in stopping bleeding from severe wounds. In that regard, our gel-sheet is able to rapidly absorb whole blood â up to 60 times its weight within a minute. Moreover, due to the presence of the polymer stabilizers, the blood tends to remain immobilized in the swollen gel. Data from experiments with bleeding models in animals will be presented.