Hydrophobically modified poly[2-(diethylamino)ethylmethacrylate-co-N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone/octadecyl acrylate] [P(DEAEMA-NVP/OA)] hydrogels with different OA content were prepared by free-radical crosslinking copolymerization of corresponding monomers in tert-butanol. The swelling equilibrium of the hydrogels was investigated as a function of temperature and hydrophobic comonomer content in pure water. An interesting feature of the swelling behavior of the P(DEAEMA-NVP/OA) hydrogels was the reentrant phase transition where the hydrogels collapse once and reswell as temperature increased. The average molecular mass between crosslinks ((M) over bar (c)) and polymer-solvent interaction parameter (chi) of the hydrogels were calculated from equilibrium swelling values. The enthalpy (Delta H) and entropy (Delta S) changes appearing in the chi parameter for the hydrogels were determined by using the Flory-Rehner theory. It was observed that the experimental swelling data of the hydrophobic hydrogels at different temperature agreed with the Flory-Rehner theory, that provided that the sensitive dependence of Z parameter on both temperature and polymer concentration is taken into account. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.