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Preparation and characterization of antibacterial cobalt-exchanged natural zeolite/poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels
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In the present study, potential application of the local clinoptilolite-rich natural zeolite in formulation of antibacterial hydrogels was investigated. The zeolite powder exchanged with cobalt(II) ions was used in preparation of the zeolite/poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel films in different amounts. The films were physically crosslinked by the freezing-thawing method and characterized for their crystallinity, surface and cross sectional morphology, chemical composition, thermal behaviour, mechanical properties, swelling and dissolution behaviours, and antibacterial activities against a Gram-negative bacteria. The films with 0.48 wt% and higher cobalt-exchanged zeolite contents showed antibacterial activity. Addition of the zeolite powder in the formulations did not cause significant changes in the other properties of the films.