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Physicochemical Properties and the Gelation Process of Supramolecular Hydrogels: A Review

Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clemens K. Weiss
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloid Chemistry)
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Supramolecular polysaccharide-based hydrogels have attracted considerable research interest recently due to their high structural functionality, low toxicity, and potential applications in foods, cosmetics, catalysis, drug delivery, tissue engineering and the environment. Modulation of the stability of hydrogels is of paramount importance, especially in the case of stimuli-responsive systems. This review will update the recent progress related to the rational design of supramolecular hydrogels with the objective of understanding the gelation process and improving their physical gelation properties for tailored applications. Emphasis will be given to supramolecular host–guest systems with reference to conventional gels in describing general aspects of gel formation. A brief account of the structural characterization of various supramolecular hydrogels is also provided in order to gain a better understanding of the design of such materials relevant to the nature of the intermolecular interactions, thermodynamic properties of the gelation process, and the critical concentration values of the precursors and the solvent components. This mini-review contributes to greater knowledge of the rational design of supramolecular hydrogels with tailored applications in diverse fields ranging from the environment to biomedicine. View Full-Text
Keywords: gel; sol; aggregation; cyclodextrin; hydration gel; sol; aggregation; cyclodextrin; hydration

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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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Karoyo, A.H.; Wilson, L.D. Physicochemical Properties and the Gelation Process of Supramolecular Hydrogels: A Review. Gels 2017, 3, 1.

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