Smart hydrogel-functionalized textile system with moisture management property for skin application

Xiaowen Wang, Huawen Hu, Zongyue Yang, Liang He, Yeeyee Kong, Bin Fei, John Haozhong Xin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a functional textile-based material for topical skin application was fabricated by coating a thermoresponsive hydrogel onto one side of absorbent nonwoven fabric. The thermoresponsive hydrogel was synthesized easily through coupling of poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly (-caprolactone) (PCL) with hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) as a chemical linker. The chemical structure of the as-prepared triblock copolymer hydrogel was unraveled by FTIR and1H NMR analysis. The hydrogel showed a temperature-triggered sol-gel transition behavior and high potential for use as drug controlled release. When the surrounding temperature was close to the skin temperature of around 34 °C, it became a moisture management system where the liquids including sweat, blood, and other body fluids can be transported unidirectionally from one fabric side with the hydrophobic hydrogel coating to the untreated opposite side. This thereby showed that the thermoresponsive hydrogel-coated textile materials had a function to keep topical skin area clean, breathable, and comfortable, thus suggesting a great potential and significance for long-term skin treatment application. The structure and surface morphology of the thermoresponsive hydrogel, in vitro drug release behavior, and the mechanism of unidirectional water transport were investigated in detail. Our success in preparation of the functional textile composites will pave the way for development of various polymer- or textile-based functional materials that are applicable in the real world.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125027
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • drug controlled release
  • moisture management
  • nonwoven fabric
  • skin treatment application
  • Thermoresponsive hydrogel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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