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Special Issue "Gel-Based Particles for Biological and Environmental Applications"

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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Todd R. Hoare

Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L7 Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 905-525-9140 x24701
Guest Editor
Dr. Niels M.B. Smeets

Senior Scientist EcoSynthetix Inc. 3365 Mainway, Burlington ON Canada L7M 1A6
E-Mail
Phone: +1 289 245-4028

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The utility of hydrogels in biomedical and environmental applications has been well-documented. The success in using gel-based materials in such applications is dictated by the physical, mechanical, and biological similarities of hydrogels to natural extracellular matrices, the tunable pore size of hydrogels (which enables controlled uptake/release applications), and the capacity of hydrogels to bind large volumes of water. Microgels or nanogels, which are particulate hydrogels on the micro or nano length scale, can further expand the applications of hydrogels in many areas, given their more rapid responses to stimuli, their facile injectability or flow, their high specific surface area (which enables faster diffusion-based processes), and their highly controllable internal morphologies; these characteristics make such gels amenable to the design of advanced functional materials. The number of papers on microgels and nanogels has recently exploded in the literature; however, significant challenges persist in translating the chemistry of microgels and nanogels into practical applications in the biomedical and environmental fields. In this Special Issue, we solicit both review papers on important sub-topics in the area as well as original research articles reporting significant advances in the chemistry of microgel or nanogel synthesis, the engineering of microgels or nanogels for biomedical or environmental applications (e.g., rational control of morphologies, performance or property optimization, scale-up of synthesis), and the performance of microgels or nanogels in those applications (e.g., papers concerning efficacy, toxicity, recyclability, or degradability, among other attributes related to application performance). Manuscripts focused on microgels or nanogels based on both smart, responsive materials as well as conventional and bio-based polymers will be considered, although papers on organic-swellable gels will not be considered within the scope of the Issue.

Dr. Todd R. Hoare
Dr. Niels M.B. Smeets
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • microgels
  • nanogels
  • smart materials
  • bio-based materials
  • gel-inorganic composites
  • environmental remediation
  • natural resource recovery
  • drug delivery
  • tissue engineering

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Effective Interactions between Multilayered Ionic Microgels
Materials 2014, 7(12), 7689-7705; doi:10.3390/ma7127689
Received: 8 October 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using a one-component reduction formalism, we calculate the effective interactions and the counterion density profiles for microgels that feature a multilayered shell structure. We follow a strategy that involves second order perturbation theory and obtain analytical expressions for the effective interactions by modeling
[...] Read more.
Using a one-component reduction formalism, we calculate the effective interactions and the counterion density profiles for microgels that feature a multilayered shell structure. We follow a strategy that involves second order perturbation theory and obtain analytical expressions for the effective interactions by modeling the layers of the particles as linear superpostion of homogeneously charged spheres. The general method is applied to the important case of core–shell microgels and compared with the well-known results for a microgel that can be approximated by a macroscopic, and homogeneously charged, spherical macroion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gel-Based Particles for Biological and Environmental Applications)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Biopolyelectrolytes onto Thermo/pH-Responsive Micro/Nano-Gels
Materials 2014, 7(11), 7472-7512; doi:10.3390/ma7117472
Received: 13 October 2014 / Revised: 1 November 2014 / Accepted: 14 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (10039 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review deals with the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolyte multilayers of biopolymers, polypeptides (i.e., poly-l-lysine/poly-l-glutamic acid) and polysaccharides (i.e., chitosan/dextran sulphate/sodium alginate), onto thermo- and/or pH-responsive micro- and nano-gels such as those based on synthetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)
[...] Read more.
This review deals with the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolyte multilayers of biopolymers, polypeptides (i.e., poly-l-lysine/poly-l-glutamic acid) and polysaccharides (i.e., chitosan/dextran sulphate/sodium alginate), onto thermo- and/or pH-responsive micro- and nano-gels such as those based on synthetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) or biodegradable hyaluronic acid (HA) and dextran-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (DEX-HEMA). The synthesis of the ensembles and their characterization by way of various techniques is described. The morphology, hydrodynamic size, surface charge density, bilayer thickness, stability over time and mechanical properties of the systems are discussed. Further, the mechanisms of interaction between biopolymers and gels are analysed. Results demonstrate that the structure and properties of biocompatible multilayer films can be finely tuned by confinement onto stimuli-responsive gels, which thus provides new perspectives for biomedical applications, particularly in the controlled release of biomolecules, bio-sensors, gene delivery, tissue engineering and storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gel-Based Particles for Biological and Environmental Applications)

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