Hydrophilic polymers

Harikrishna Erothu*, Anitha C. Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Hydrophilic polymers contain polar or charged functional groups, rendering them soluble in water. This chapter discusses the synthesis, properties, and applications of different hydrophilic polymers. It considers the hydrophilic polymers as three categories such as natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic. Natural hydrophilic polymers are again classified into plant origin and animal origin. Semisynthetic water-soluble polymers are derived by either chemical modification of natural polymers or from microbial sources. Most natural hydrophilic polymers are polysaccharides, which vary substantially in their basic sugar units, linkages, and substituents. Synthetic hydrophilic polymers have different applications in pharmacology, biotechnology, and chemistry. The chapter provides some examples of synthetic hydrophilic polymers. The copolymer Divinyl Ether-Maleic Anhydride (DIVEMA), which is also known as pyran copolymer, is used in drug delivery systems. It acts as an antitumor, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial agent. Polyoxazoline polymers are nonionic, stable, and highly soluble in water and organic solvents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical applications of polymeric materials and composites
EditorsRaju Francis, D. Sakthi Kumar
Place of PublicationWeinheim (DE)
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-527-69091-6, 978-3-527-69094-7, 978-3-527-69092-3, 978-3-527-69093-0, 978-3-527-69091-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-527-33836-8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2016


  • divinyl ether-maleic anhydride
  • drug delivery systems
  • hydrophilic polymers
  • organic solvents
  • polyoxazoline polymers
  • polysaccharides
  • semisynthetic water-soluble polymers


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrophilic polymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Synthetic polymer hydrogels

    Kumar, A. C. & Erothu, H., 7 Oct 2016, Biomedical applications of polymeric materials and composites. Francis, R. & Kumar, D. S. (eds.). Weinheim (DE): Wiley, p. 141-162 22 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter

Cite this