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Cross-linking of Polyvinyl Alcohol using Kappa Carrageenan to form hydrogels for drug


Cross-linking process of polymers by chemical reaction or physical reaction is used to form

hydrogels. Physically cross-linked hydrogels have a very large demand compared to chemically

cross-linked hydrogels. It is because chemically cross-linked hydrogels uses traditional chemical

cross-linking agents which are not just toxic but also can affect the nature of the encapsulated

core material (Kamoun, Chen, Mohy Eldin & Kenawy, 1980)

Polyvinyl Alcohol is a neutral polymer which has a biocompatible properties. Despite of that, it

is said to have a low mechanical strength which restricts it to other processes and usage. Kappa

Carrageenan was introduced to improve the strength of the gel and the hydrogels swelling

properties (Dafader et al., 2015).

Hydrogels formed by cross-linking process has the ability to swell in water without dissolving or

losing it stability. They have high water content, soft consistency and porosity, which simulate

them to a living tissue (Dafader et al., 2015). The high porosity of the hydrogel can be adjusted

by controlling the density of cross-links in their matrix and the affinity with water. The porous

structure allows the core material such as drugs to be encapsulated and then released. This

characteristic of hydrogel has the possibility for the use in drug delivery specifically in sustaining

or controlling the release (Cal & Khutoryanskiy, 2015).