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Open AccessArticle

Design of Aerogels, Cryogels and Xerogels of Alginate: Effect of Molecular Weight, Gelation Conditions and Drying Method on Particles’ Micromeritics

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Drug Discovery and Development, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, R+D Pharma group (GI-1645), Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1049;
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 17 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering of Aerogels and Their Applications)
Processing and shaping of dried gels are of interest in several fields like alginate aerogel beads used as highly porous and nanostructured particles in biomedical applications. The physicochemical properties of the alginate source, the solvent used in the gelation solution and the gel drying method are key parameters influencing the characteristics of the resulting dried gels. In this work, dried gel beads in the form of xerogels, cryogels or aerogels were prepared from alginates of different molecular weights (120 and 180 kDa) and concentrations (1.25, 1.50, 2.0 and 2.25% (w/v)) using different gelation conditions (aqueous and ethanolic CaCl2 solutions) and drying methods (supercritical drying, freeze-drying and oven drying) to obtain particles with a broad range of physicochemical and textural properties. The stability of physicochemical properties of alginate aerogels under storage conditions of 25 °C and 65% relative humidity (ICH-climatic zone II) during 1 and 3 months was studied. Results showed significant effects of the studied processing parameters on the resulting alginate dried gel properties. Stability studies showed small variations in aerogels weight and specific surface area after 3 months of storage, especially, in the case of aerogels produced with medium molecular weight alginate. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerogel; alginate; prilling; supercritical-CO2; cryogel aerogel; alginate; prilling; supercritical-CO2; cryogel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rodríguez-Dorado, R.; López-Iglesias, C.; García-González, C.A.; Auriemma, G.; Aquino, R.P.; Del Gaudio, P. Design of Aerogels, Cryogels and Xerogels of Alginate: Effect of Molecular Weight, Gelation Conditions and Drying Method on Particles’ Micromeritics. Molecules 2019, 24, 1049.

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