Acrylamide/maleic acid hydrogels in the form of rods were prepared by gamma-irradiating ternary mixtures of acrylamide-maleic acid-water with 2.00-5.71 kGy gamma-rays. The influence of dose and relative content of maleic acid on the spectroscopic, thermal and mechanical properties, swelling properties, diffusional behavior of wafer and diffusion coefficients of hydrogel systems are examined. Acrylamide/maleic acid hydrogels were swelled in the range of 1000-2800%, while polyacrylamide hydrogels were swelled in the range of 650-700%. Water diffusion to hydrogels is non-Fickian type diffusion. The diffusion coefficients varied from 4.5 x 10(-7) to 12.2 x 10(-7) cm(2) sec(-1).