A photo-switchable and thermal-enhanced fluorescent hydrogel prepared from N-isopropylacrylamide with water-soluble spiropyran derivative

Herein, a photo-switchable and thermal-enhanced fluorescent hydrogel has been fabricated from N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) with a mixture of water-soluble acryloyl-α-cyclodextrin/acryloyl-α-cyclodextrin-spiropyran (acryloyl-α-CD/ acryloyl-α-CD-SP) as cross-linkers. The physical properties, photochromic properties, and fluorescent behavior of the hydrogel were characterized. The fluorescence emission of the hydrogel can be reversibly switched ‘on/off’ by UV/visible light irradiation, and meanwhile the fluorescence intensity can be enhanced by increasing the temperature above the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) of the hydrogel. The hydrogel also shows spatiotemporal fluorescent behavior, excellent cytocompatibility, and fatigue resistance in photochromic and photo-switchable fluorescent behaviors.