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Crosslinking Agents

Notes

*11/11/2013  
from 2/7/2012

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Notes

“Cross-links are bonds that link one polymer chain to another. They can be covalent bonds or ionic bonds. "Polymer chains" can refer to synthetic polymers or natural polymers (such as proteins). When the term "cross-linking" is used in the synthetic polymer science field, it usually refers to the use of cross-links to promote a difference in the polymers' physical properties. When "crosslinking" is used in the biological field, it refers to the use of a probe to link proteins together to check for protein–protein interactions, as well as other creative cross-linking methodologies.

Cross-linking is used in both synthetic polymer chemistry and in the biological sciences. Although the term is used to refer to the "linking of polymer chains" for both sciences, the extent of crosslinking and specificities of the crosslinking agents vary. Of course, with all science, there are overlaps, and the following delineations are a starting point to understanding the subtleties.”

(Wikipedia, Cross-Links, 4/23/2012)

“Crosslinking is the formation of chemical links between molecular chains to form a three-dimensional network of connected molecules. The vulcanization of rubber using elemental sulfur is an example of crosslinking, converting raw rubber from a weak plastic to a highly resilient elastomer.  The strategy of covalent crosslinking is used in several other technologies of commercial and scientific interest to control and enhance the properties of the resulting polymer system or interface, such as thermosets and coatings. Crosslinking has been employed in the synthesis of ion-exchange resins4 and stimuli-responsive hydrogels5 made from polymer molecules containing polar groups.  As polyelectrolytes, hydrogels are inherently water soluble. To make them insoluble, they are chemically crosslinked during manufacture or by a second reaction following that of polymerization of the starting monomers. The degree of crosslinking, quantified in terms of the crosslink density, together with the details of the molecular structure, have a profound impact on the swelling characteristics of the crosslinked system.” (Aldrich Chemical, Crosslink Agents, 4/23/2012

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Roger D. Corneliussen
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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 4/23/2012.

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