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cross-link dissociation

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On the consequences of cross-link dissociation in hydrogels

The submersion of a polymer network with a high density of hydrogen bond based cross-links in an aqueous bath results in the formation of a rubber-like hydrogel. The cross-links, which connect chains and maintain the structure of the network, can dissociate as a result of two main factors: (1) the interactions between the hydrogen bonds and the surrounding water molecules and (2) the forces that are exerted on the cross-link from the interconnected chains.

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