Ultra-fast pH determination with a new colorimetric pH-sensing hydrogel for biomedical and environmental applications

Gungor Z., Özay H.

REACTIVE & FUNCTIONAL POLYMERS, vol.180, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 180
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.reactfunctpolym.2022.105398
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Colorimetric hydrogel, pH sensor, Wound dressing, Bromothymol blue, Smart materials
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


In this study that demonstrates many firsts in the literature, the acrylate derivative (BTBm) of bromothymol blue, retaining its indicator feature, was synthesized as a monomer via using an organic indicator bromothymol blue (BTB). After the structural characterization of BTBm synthesized by ourselves for the first time, copolymeric hydrogel systems were formed with three different commercial monomers in cationic (3-Acrylamidopropyl-tri-methylammonium chloride / APTMACl), anionic (3-Sulfopropyl acrylate potassium salt / SPA) and neutral (acrylamide / AA) structures. Structural characterization of BTBm-based hydrogels, which was successfully synthesized by using a 0.5% methylene bisacrylamide (MBA) crosslinker, was elucidated by FT-IR spectroscopy. The morphological structures and elemental compositions of the hydrogels were examined by SEM and EDX elemental mapping analyses. The color changes of BTBm-based hydrogels, which are intended to be used as colorimetric pH sensors, were examined in different pH environments both with naked-eye and by using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer. It has been observed that APTMACl-BTBm hydrogel can be a more beneficial colorimetric pH sensor material than other BTBm-based hydrogels in terms of its ability to respond to pH changes in a wide color range, short response time, and mechanical strength performance.