Invited Review | Published:

Polymer Surface and Interfaces

Characterization of polymer materials based on structure analyses of vicinal water

Polymer Journal volume 48, pages 1524 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

In this paper, we review the vibrational spectroscopic analyses of the structure and hydrogen bonding of water in the vicinity of various polymers based on research performed by our group. Aqueous solutions of water-soluble polymers have been examined using the contours of O–H stretching in polarized Raman spectra. For water sorbed into polymer thin films, infrared spectroscopy was used and the structure of water at polymer–liquid water interfaces was examined using sum frequency generation spectroscopy. Zwitterionic polymers and amphoteric polymers containing comparable numbers of anionic and cationic groups were inert to the structure of vicinal water. In contrast, lopsidedly charged polymers strongly perturbed the structure of water. The inert properties of polymers with comparative contents of anionic and cationic groups with respect to the hydrogen-bonded network structure of water may be owing to the counteraction of the electrostatic hydration effect by the proximity between the cationic and anionic groups, which may endow the charge-neutralized (zwitterionic or amphoteric) polymers with biocompatibility. Similar inert properties to vicinal water were observed for a thin film of a well-known anticoagulant polymer (i.e., poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate)). The correlation between the freezing/melting behavior of water sorbed into various nonionic polymer materials and their biocompatibility is also discussed.

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Acknowledgements

The series of studies introduced in this review were pursued by collaboration with many researchers, who are listed below. I sincerely thank these researchers for their strong support. These researchers include Professor Yasushi Maeda (University of Fukui), Professor Makoto Gemmei-Ide (University of Toyama), Professor Kohji Ohno (Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University), Professor Tadashi Nakaji-Hirabayashi (University of Toyama), Professor Mitsuhiro Fukuda (Hyogo University of Education), Professor Makoto Kawagoe (Toyama Prefectural University), Professor Kohei Uosaki (NIMS), Dr Hidenori Noguchi (NIMS), Professor Masaru Tanaka (Kyushu University), Professor Akira Mochizuki (Tokai University) and Professor Kazuhiko Ishihara (University of Tokyo). In addition, I am grateful to all of the students previously and currently pursuing research in our laboratory for their continuous efforts to complete research studies.

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  1. Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan

    • Hiromi Kitano

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The author declares no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Hiromi Kitano.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/pj.2015.70

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