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Optical and Mechanical Properties of Self-Repairing Pectin Biopolymers

Laboratory of Adaptive and Regenerative Biology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Translational Lung Research Center, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Institute of Functional and Clinical Anatomy, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 55122 Mainz, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Donatella Duraccio
Polymers 2022, 14(7), 1345;
Received: 1 March 2022 / Revised: 18 March 2022 / Accepted: 21 March 2022 / Published: 26 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers)
Pectin’s unique physicochemical properties have been linked to a variety of reparative and regenerative processes in nature. To investigate the effect of water on pectin repair, we used a 5 mm stainless-steel uniaxial load to fracture glass phase pectin films. The fractured gel phase films were placed on a 1.5–1.8 mm thick layer of water and incubated for 8 h at room temperature and ambient humidity. There was no immersion or agitation. The repaired pectin film was subsequently assessed for its optical and mechanical properties. Light microscopy demonstrated repair of the detectable fracture area and restoration of the films’ optical properties. The burst strength of the repaired film declined to 55% of the original film. However, its resilience was restored to 87% of the original film. Finally, a comparison of the initial and post-repair fracture patterns demonstrated no recurrent fissures in the repaired glass phase films. The water-induced repair of the pectin film was superior to the optical and mechanical properties of the repaired films composed of nanocellulose fibers, sodium hyaluronate, and oxidized cellulose. We conclude that the unique physicochemical properties of pectin facilitate the water-induced self-repair of fractured pectin films. View Full-Text
Keywords: pectin; cohesion; adhesion; self-repair; fractography pectin; cohesion; adhesion; self-repair; fractography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pierce, A.F.; Liu, B.S.; Liao, M.; Wagner, W.L.; Khalil, H.A.; Chen, Z.; Ackermann, M.; Mentzer, S.J. Optical and Mechanical Properties of Self-Repairing Pectin Biopolymers. Polymers 2022, 14, 1345.

AMA Style

Pierce AF, Liu BS, Liao M, Wagner WL, Khalil HA, Chen Z, Ackermann M, Mentzer SJ. Optical and Mechanical Properties of Self-Repairing Pectin Biopolymers. Polymers. 2022; 14(7):1345.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pierce, Aidan F., Betty S. Liu, Matthew Liao, Willi L. Wagner, Hassan A. Khalil, Zi Chen, Maximilian Ackermann, and Steven J. Mentzer. 2022. "Optical and Mechanical Properties of Self-Repairing Pectin Biopolymers" Polymers 14, no. 7: 1345.

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