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Open AccessArticle

Polysaccharide-Based Hydrogels: The Key Role of Water in Affecting Mechanical Properties

Interuniversity Research Centre for Advanced Medical Systems (C.R.I.S.M.A.), Viale Matteotti 15, Colle di Val d’Elsa Siena 53034, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2012, 4(3), 1517-1534;
Received: 20 July 2012 / Revised: 27 July 2012 / Accepted: 1 August 2012 / Published: 21 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Collection Polysaccharides)
Different hydrogels were prepared starting from natural or semi-synthetic polysaccharides (carboxymethylcellulose, hyaluronic acid and chitosan) which were cross-linked by the addition of a cross-linking agent chosen according to the chemical groups present along the polymer chains. The cross-linking reaction allows for the formation of a three-dimensional network made of covalent bonds between the polymer chains, which is stable under physiological conditions. The presence of a substantial amount of water within the polysaccharide matrices makes such systems unique among hydrophilic gels. Water itself is responsible for some of their peculiar characteristics, one of which is their injectability which makes these hydrogels suitable for using as matrices for mini-invasive surgery and localized therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogels; water molecules; injectability; rheological properties hydrogels; water molecules; injectability; rheological properties
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Pasqui, D.; De Cagna, M.; Barbucci, R. Polysaccharide-Based Hydrogels: The Key Role of Water in Affecting Mechanical Properties. Polymers 2012, 4, 1517-1534.

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