Laser scanning confocal microscopy versus scanning electron microscopy for characterization of polymer morphology: sample preparation drastically distorts morphologies of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-based hydrogels

Paterson, Stefan M., Casadio, Ylenia S., Brown, David H., Shaw, Jeremy A., Chirila, Traian V. and Baker, Murray V. (2013) Laser scanning confocal microscopy versus scanning electron microscopy for characterization of polymer morphology: sample preparation drastically distorts morphologies of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-based hydrogels. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 127 6: 4296-4304. doi:10.1002/app.38034


Author Paterson, Stefan M.
Casadio, Ylenia S.
Brown, David H.
Shaw, Jeremy A.
Chirila, Traian V.
Baker, Murray V.
Title Laser scanning confocal microscopy versus scanning electron microscopy for characterization of polymer morphology: sample preparation drastically distorts morphologies of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-based hydrogels
Journal name Journal of Applied Polymer Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8995
1097-4628
Publication date 2013-03
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/app.38034
Volume 127
Issue 6
Start page 4296
End page 4304
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The internal morphologies for a series of heterogeneous PHEMA and P[HEMA-co-MeO-PEGMA] [PHEMA = poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate), MeO-PEGMA = poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] hydrogels were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in conjunction with a sample drying procedure, and by laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) without prior drying. Compared to SEM, LSCM was far simpler and more rapid technique for imaging hydrogels. LSCM also allowed the native hydrated morphology of the hydrogels to be characterized, whereas SEM could only characterize the morphology of samples in their dehydrated state. No dehydration method used in this study preserved the true native morphology, but plunge freezing/freeze drying was the most suitable method that best preserved the native morphology for all hydrogel compositions. Refrigerated freezing/freeze-drying and critical point drying introduced significant morphological artifacts, the severity of the artifacts being dependant on the sample's composition and Tg.
Keyword Hydrogels
Macroporous polymers
Morphology
Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)
Laser scanning confocal microscopy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 31 May 2012

 
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