Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, Vol.48, No.12, 1343-1352, 2018
Facile crosslinking of poly(vinylpyrrolidone) by electro-oxidation with IrO2-based anode under potentiostatic conditions
The modification of polymer architectures by reaction with chemically adsorbed hydroxyl radicals has been thoroughly investigated by electrolyzing dilute aqueous solutions of the biocompatible polymer poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP), using an undivided electrolytic cell with a Ti/IrO2-Ta2O5 (DSA((R))) anode. Several electrolyses were performed to assess the influence of the applied potential, the circulated charge and the PVP concentration, which was always kept low to avoid chain overlapping. From the results obtained, it can be concluded that the electro-oxidation of PVP solutions using a cheap anode is an effective method to crosslink initially isolated polymer chains, eventually increasing the size of their random coils. Furthermore, the average size of the modified macromolecules can be controlled by tuning the electrode potential and/or the current density and the circulated charge. At high anodic potential values, the hydroxyl radicals formed at DSA((R)) were also effective to generate reactive functional groups on the PVP backbone, which is a very interesting feature for future biomedical applications. [GRAPHICS] .