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Crystal Growth in Gels from the Mechanisms of Crystal Growth to Control of Polymorphism: New Trends on Theoretical and Experimental Aspects

1
Escuela de Química, Universidad de San Carlos Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala 01012, Guatemala
2
Instituto de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Av. Universidad 3000, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de Mexico 04510, Mexico
3
NSLS-II-Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, NY 11973, USA
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Departamento de Biología, División de Ciencias Naturales y Exactas, Campus Guanajuato, Universidad de Guanajuato, Noria Alta S/N, Col. Noria Alta, Guanajuato C. P. 36050, Guanajuato, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Crystals 2019, 9(9), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9090443
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 17 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Growth in Gels)
A gel can be considered to be a two-phase (liquid and solid) system, which lacks flow once it reaches a stationary state. The solid phase is usually a tridimensional polymeric mesh, while the liquid phase is usually found in three forms: contained in great cavities, retained in the capillary pores between micelles, or adsorbed on the surface of a micelle. The influence of the use of gels in crystal growth is diverse and depends on the type of gel being used. A decrease in solubility of any solute in the liquid may occur if the solvent interacts extensively with the polymeric section, hence, the nucleation in gels in these cases apparently occurs at relatively low supersaturations. However, if the pore size is small enough, there is a possibility that a higher supersaturation is needed, due to the compartmentalization of solvents. Finally, this may also represent an effect in the diffusion of substances. This review is divided into three main parts; the first evaluates the theory and practice used for the obtainment of polymorphs. The second part describes the use of gels into crystallogenesis of different substances. The last part is related to the particularities of protein crystal polymorphism, as well as modern trends in gel growth for high-resolution X-ray crystallography. View Full-Text
Keywords: gel growth; mechanism of crystal growth; polymorphism; crystallogenesis; hydrogels gel growth; mechanism of crystal growth; polymorphism; crystallogenesis; hydrogels
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Velásquez-González, O.; Campos-Escamilla, C.; Flores-Ibarra, A.; Esturau-Escofet, N.; Arreguin-Espinosa, R.; Stojanoff, V.; Cuéllar-Cruz, M.; Moreno, A. Crystal Growth in Gels from the Mechanisms of Crystal Growth to Control of Polymorphism: New Trends on Theoretical and Experimental Aspects. Crystals 2019, 9, 443.

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