Date of Award

2023

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2023 Fatima Tariq and Bhaavana Oruganty. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Engineering, Chemistry & Biochemistry

First Advisor

Emily Sahadeo

Second Advisor

Maggie Delano

Abstract

Hydrogels are an up-and-coming material having numerous potential applications with a multitude of properties. They are known for their self-healing, high toughness, electrical conductivity, and much more. Hydrogels in the market currently only cater to one application or focus on one feature rather than a combination of them. This study aims to produce a hydrogel from a pre-established synthesis containing polydopamine-polypyrrole nanoparticles and alter it to improve the electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and swelling capabilities. The analysis revealed that the hydrogel that only contained polypyrrole nanoparticles produced the best conductivity value of 0.070309 S/m, contradicting previous literature which suggests that the addition of polydopamine would improve conductivity. For the mechanical analysis, the highest amount of force is able to be sustained by a sample containing 82.1 mg of the polydopamine-polypyrrole nanoparticles, which had a maximum force withstanding at approximately 15 N. All samples exhibited a high amount of swelling ability, with the hydrogel encompassing exhibiting the greatest water absorption capacity at 830% of its initial mass The success in water absorption displays that these hydrogels could be reused and would remove the need for single-use products. Overall, the findings demonstrate that by varying compositions of nanoparticles added in the hydrogel synthesis, it is possible to adapt them to have desired features. The multifunctional product exhibits promising properties for wound dressing and shows potential for improving biocompatibility. Along with this, the analysis emphasizes the versatility and potential of hydrogels as a general-use material with a range of characteristics.

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