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Gels 2016, 2(4), 27; doi:10.3390/gels2040027

Supramolecular Self-Assembly of a Model Hydrogelator: Characterization of Fiber Formation and Morphology

1
Section on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2
Materials Science and Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
3
NIST Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
4
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
5
Department of Chemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02453, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Díaz Díaz
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 8 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4392 KB, uploaded 8 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Hydrogels are of intense recent interest in connection with biomedical applications ranging from 3-D cell cultures and stem cell differentiation to regenerative medicine, controlled drug delivery, and tissue engineering. This prototypical form of soft matter has many emerging material science applications outside the medical field. The physical processes underlying this type of solidification are incompletely understood, and this limits design efforts aimed at optimizing these materials for applications. We address this general problem by applying multiple techniques (e.g., NMR, dynamic light scattering, small angle neutron scattering, rheological measurements) to the case of a peptide derivative hydrogelator (molecule 1, NapFFKYp) over a broad range of concentration and temperature to characterize both the formation of individual nanofibers and the fiber network. We believe that a better understanding of the hierarchical self-assembly process and control over the final morphology of this kind of material should have broad significance for biological and medicinal applications utilizing hydrogels. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; fiber formation; small angle neutron scattering; dynamic light scattering; NMR; rheology hydrogel; fiber formation; small angle neutron scattering; dynamic light scattering; NMR; rheology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gao, Y.; Nieuwendaal, R.; Dimitriadis, E.K.; Hammouda, B.; Douglas, J.F.; Xu, B.; Horkay, F. Supramolecular Self-Assembly of a Model Hydrogelator: Characterization of Fiber Formation and Morphology. Gels 2016, 2, 27.

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