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Open Access Nano Express

A poly(vinyl alcohol)/sodium alginate blend monolith with nanoscale porous structure

Xiaoxia Sun and Hiroshi Uyama*

Author Affiliations

Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:411  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-411

Published: 4 October 2013


A stimuli-responsive poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/sodium alginate (SA) blend monolith with nanoscale porous (mesoporous) structure is successfully fabricated by thermally impacted non-solvent induced phase separation (TINIPS) method. The PVA/SA blend monolith with different SA contents is conveniently fabricated in an aqueous methanol without any templates. The solvent suitable for the fabrication of the present blend monolith by TINIPS is different with that of the PVA monolith. The nanostructural control of the blend monolith is readily achieved by optimizing the fabrication conditions. Brunauer Emmett Teller measurement shows that the obtained blend monolith has a large surface area. Pore size distribution plot for the blend monolith obtained by the non-local density functional theory method reveals the existence of the nanoscale porous structure. Fourier transform infrared analysis reveals the strong interactions between PVA and SA. The pH-responsive property of the blend monolith is investigated on the basis of swelling ratio in different pH solutions. The present blend monolith of biocompatible and biodegradable PVA and SA with nanoscale porous structure has large potential for applications in biomedical and environmental fields.

Monolith; Porous material; Poly(vinyl alcohol); Sodium alginate; Phase separation