Section I. Fundamentals of Absorbent Materials: Preparation, Structure, and Characterization. 1. The evolution of absorbent materials (J.R. Gross). 2. Preparation and structure of polyacrylates (F.L. Buchholz). 3. Preparation and characterization of crosslinked hydrophilic networks (L. Brannon-Peppas). 4. The equilibrium swelling behavior of porous and non-porous hydrogels (L. Brannon-Peppas and N.A. Peppas). 5. Characterization of ionic water-absorbent polymers: Determination of ionic content and effective crosslink density (D.C. Harsh and S.H. Gehrke). 6. Swelling behavior of water-soluble cellulose derivatives (E. Doelker). 7. Structure and swelling behavior of poly(ethylene glycol)/poly(methacrylic acid) complexes (J. Klier and N.A. Peppas). 8. Transport in porous polymers (W.M. Saltzman). Section II. Recent Experimental Studies. 9. Molecular thermodynamics of aqueous polymers and gels (H.H. Hooper, H.W. Blanch, and J.M. Prausnitz). 10. Dynamic and equilibrium swelling characteristics of hydrophilic copolymers with carboxylic functional groups (A.R. Khare and N.A. Peppas). 11. Kinetics of swelling of absorbent polymers (F.L. Buchholz). 12. Effect of superabsorber-pulp interactions on the performance of absorbent structures (D.L. Visioli and K.R. Williams). 13. A microstructural analysis of polymer networks formed from graft copolymers in mixed aqueous solvents (C.G. Varelas and C.A. Steiner). Subject Index.