Thermosensitive hydrogels were prepared by free-radical polymerization in aqueous solution from N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) and acrylamide (AAm) monomers. NN-Methylenebis(acrylamide) (MBAAm) was used as a crosslinker. A kinetic study of the absorption determined the transport mechanism. The diffusion coefficients of these hydrogels were calculated for the Fickian mechanism. It was shown that the swelling behavior of the P(NIPA-coAAm) hydrogels can be controlled by changing the amount of MBAAm. The swelling equilibrium of the P(NIPAco-AAm) hydrogels was also investigated as a function of temperature in aqueous solutions of the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SIDS) and the cationic surfactant dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB). In SDS and DTAB solutions, the equilibrium swelling ratio of the hydrogels increased, this is ascribed to the conversion of nonionic P(NIPA-co-AAm) hydrogel into polyelectrolyte hydrogels due to binding of surfactant molecules through the hydrophobic interaction. Additionally, the amount of free SDS and DTAB ions was measured at different temperatures by a conductometric method, it was found that the electric conductivity of the P(NIPA-co-AAm)-surfactant systems depended strongly on both the type and concentration of surfactant solutions. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.