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Volume 1, December

Gels, Volume 1, Issue 1 (September 2015) – 9 articles , Pages 1-134

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Article
Synthesis and Properties of New “Stimuli” Responsive Nanocomposite Hydrogels Containing Silver Nanoparticles
Gels 2015, 1(1), 117-134; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010117 - 28 Aug 2015
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3064
Abstract
Hydrogel nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles of size 15–21 nm were prepared by diffusion and in-situ chemical reduction in chemically crosslinked polymers based on N-acryloyl-N′-ethyl piperazine (AcrNEP) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM). The polymer chains of the hydrogel network offered control and [...] Read more.
Hydrogel nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles of size 15–21 nm were prepared by diffusion and in-situ chemical reduction in chemically crosslinked polymers based on N-acryloyl-N′-ethyl piperazine (AcrNEP) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM). The polymer chains of the hydrogel network offered control and stabilization of silver nanoparticles without the need for additional stabilizers. The presence of silver nanoparticles and their size was quantified by UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The nanocomposite hydrogels were responsive to pH and temperature changes of the external environment. The equilibrium weight swelling ratio of the hydrogel nanocomposite was lower in comparison with the precursor hydrogel. Silver nanoparticles present in the nanocomposite offered additional physical crosslinking which influenced media diffusion and penetration velocity. The release of silver nanoparticles from the hydrogel matrix in response to external pH changes was studied. The rate of release of silver nanoparticles was higher in a solution of pH 2.5 due to maximum swelling caused by ionization of the gel network. No significant release of nanoparticles was observed in a solution of pH 7. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli-Responsive Gels)
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Article
Preparation and Characterization of Amphoteric Cellulose Hydrogels as Adsorbents for the Anionic Dyes in Aqueous Solutions
Gels 2015, 1(1), 94-116; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010094 - 24 Aug 2015
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3719
Abstract
A series of cellulose ampholytes (CAms), with substitution degrees of cationic groups (DSC) of 0.41, 0.79, and 1.08, and with a substitution degree of anionic groups of 0.68, was prepared from sodium carboxymethylcellulose by a cationization reaction with 2,3-epoxypropyltrimethylammonium chloride. The [...] Read more.
A series of cellulose ampholytes (CAms), with substitution degrees of cationic groups (DSC) of 0.41, 0.79, and 1.08, and with a substitution degree of anionic groups of 0.68, was prepared from sodium carboxymethylcellulose by a cationization reaction with 2,3-epoxypropyltrimethylammonium chloride. The obtained CAms were crosslinked by ethyleneglycoldiglycidylether (EGDE) to obtain cellulose polyampholyte hydrogels (CAmGs). The CAmGs adsorbed three anionic dyes, viz. AR9, AR13, and AB92, and the absorption depended on the DSC of the hydrogels and the pH of the adsorption medium: the maximum adsorption of anionic dyes occurred using CAmGs with higher DSC values, and under lower pH (less than 3) conditions. The adsorption of these dyes can be fitted by the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model, which revealed the maximum flocculation capacity of CAmGs for each dye. These encouraging results indicate that CAmGs may be applicable for use as novel adsorbents for wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloidal Gels as Micro- and Nanoreactors)
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Article
Thixotropic Supramolecular Gel Based on l-Lysine Derivatives
Gels 2015, 1(1), 81-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010081 - 31 Jul 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3522
Abstract
The dimer l-lysine derivatives, in which two Nα,Nε-diacyl-l-lysines were crosslinked by calcium ion, were synthesized through a simply synthetic procedure and their gelation properties were examined. These compounds functioned as an organogelator; especially, the gelators possessing both a [...] Read more.
The dimer l-lysine derivatives, in which two Nα,Nε-diacyl-l-lysines were crosslinked by calcium ion, were synthesized through a simply synthetic procedure and their gelation properties were examined. These compounds functioned as an organogelator; especially, the gelators possessing both a linear and a branched alkyl chains had the better organogelation ability and formed the thermally stable and rigid organogel. In addition, some organogels had a thixotropic property, which were responsive to a mechanical stimulus and reversibly underwent the gel–sol transition at room temperature. The thixotropic behavior was confirmed by visual contact and rheological experiments. Furthermore, it was assumed the mechanism of the thixotropic behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Self-Healing Gels)
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Article
Composite Chitosan/Agarose Ferrogels for Potential Applications in Magnetic Hyperthermia
Gels 2015, 1(1), 69-80; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010069 - 09 Jul 2015
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3523
Abstract
Composite ferrogels were obtained by encapsulation of magnetic nanoparticles at two different concentrations (2.0 and 5.0 % w/v) within mixed agarose/chitosan hydrogels having different concentrations of agarose (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0% (w/v)) and a fixed concentration [...] Read more.
Composite ferrogels were obtained by encapsulation of magnetic nanoparticles at two different concentrations (2.0 and 5.0 % w/v) within mixed agarose/chitosan hydrogels having different concentrations of agarose (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0% (w/v)) and a fixed concentration of chitosan (0.5% (w/v)). The morphological characterization carried out by scanning electron microscopy showed that dried composite ferrogels present pore sizes in the micrometer range. Thermogravimetric measurements showed that ferrogels present higher degradation temperatures than blank chitosan/agarose hydrogels without magnetic nanoparticles. In addition, measurements of the elastic moduli of the composite ferrogels evidenced that the presence of magnetic nanoparticles in the starting aqueous solutions prevents to some extent the agarose gelation achieved by simply cooling chitosan/agarose aqueous solutions. Finally, it is shown that composite chitosan/agarose ferrogels are able to heat in response to the application of an alternating magnetic field so that they can be considered as potential biomaterials to be employed in magnetic hyperthermia treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Hydrogel Composites for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Diarylbibenzofuranone-Based Dynamic Covalent Polymer Gels Prepared via Radical Polymerization and Subsequent Polymer Reaction
Gels 2015, 1(1), 58-68; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010058 - 03 Jul 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3741
Abstract
Diarylbibenzofuranone (DABBF) is a dynamic covalent bonding unit, which is in equilibrium with the corresponding radicals at room temperature, and polymers with DABBF linkages show notable properties such as self-healing. The preparation routes have been strictly limited, however, and no polymer with the [...] Read more.
Diarylbibenzofuranone (DABBF) is a dynamic covalent bonding unit, which is in equilibrium with the corresponding radicals at room temperature, and polymers with DABBF linkages show notable properties such as self-healing. The preparation routes have been strictly limited, however, and no polymer with the linkages has been synthesized via radical polymerization because of the strong antioxidant activity of DABBF. Here we present a new method to prepare DABBF-containing polymers via radical polymerization of the precursor, arylbenzofuranone (ABF), and subsequent polymer reaction, dimerization of ABF units in the linear polymers. Polymer gels cross-linked by DABBF linkages were obtained against the relatively strong antioxidant activity of ABF and showed dynamic network reorganization at room temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Self-Healing Gels)
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Article
Functionalisation of Polysaccharides for the Purposes of Electrospinning: A Case Study Using HPMC and Si-HPMC
Gels 2015, 1(1), 44-57; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010044 - 30 Jun 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3421
Abstract
Hydrogels are a suitable scaffold material for a variety of tissue engineering applications. However, these materials have a weak structure and require reinforcement. Integrating electrospun fibers could strengthen material properties. This study created fibers and evaluated the influence of the presence of polar [...] Read more.
Hydrogels are a suitable scaffold material for a variety of tissue engineering applications. However, these materials have a weak structure and require reinforcement. Integrating electrospun fibers could strengthen material properties. This study created fibers and evaluated the influence of the presence of polar head groups within a polysaccharide backbone following functionalization: silated-hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (Si-HPMC). Electrospinning is a multi-parameter, step by step process that requires optimization of solution and process parameters to understand and control the process. Fibers were created for 2%–3% wt/v solutions in water and ethanol. Viscosities of solutions were correlated with spinnability. Variations on process parameters did not reveal major variation on fiber morphology. Once controlled, the process was used for HPMC/Si-HPMC mixture solutions. Solubilization and dilution of Si-HPMC were made with common solvents for electrospinning. Two forms of polymer conformation were electrospun: silanol ending and silanolate ending. Microstructures and resulting nanofibers were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Analysis (EDX). The results show the feasibility of our strategy for creating nanofibers and the influence of polar head groups on electrospinnability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Hydrogel Composites for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
On the Mechanism of Drug Release from Polysaccharide Hydrogels Cross-Linked with Magnetite Nanoparticles by Applying Alternating Magnetic Fields: the Case of DOXO Delivery
Gels 2015, 1(1), 24-43; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010024 - 20 May 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3171
Abstract
The chemical, biological and physical properties of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) hydrogels with silanized magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NPs) as cross-linker were investigated and compared with the analogous hydrogel obtained by using 1,3-diaminopropane (DAP) as cross-linker. The magnetic hydrogel was characterized from [...] Read more.
The chemical, biological and physical properties of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) hydrogels with silanized magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NPs) as cross-linker were investigated and compared with the analogous hydrogel obtained by using 1,3-diaminopropane (DAP) as cross-linker. The magnetic hydrogel was characterized from the chemical point of view by FT-IR, whereas the morphology of the hydrogel was investigated by FESEM and STEM. The water uptake and rheological measurements reveal how much the swelling and mechanical properties change when CMC is cross-linked with silanized magnetite NPs instead of with DAP. As far as the biological properties, the hybrid hydrogel neither exerts any adverse effect nor any alteration on the cells. The magnetic hydrogels show magnetic hysteresis at 2.5 K as well as at 300 K. Magnetic measurements show that the saturation magnetization, remanent magnetization and coercive field of the NPs are not influenced significantly by the silanization treatment. The magnetic hydrogel was tested as controlled drug delivery system. The release of DOXO from the hydrogel is significantly enhanced by exposing it to an alternating magnetic field. Under our experimental conditions (2 mT and 40 kHz), no temperature increase of the hydrogel was measured, testifying that the mechanism for the enhancement of drug release under the AMF involves the twisting of the polymeric chains. A static magnetic field (0.5 T) does not influence the drug release from the hydrogel, compared with that without magnetic field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Hydrogel Composites for Biomedical Applications)
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Review
New Formulations of Polysaccharide-Based Hydrogels for Drug Release and Tissue Engineering
Gels 2015, 1(1), 3-23; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010003 - 29 Jan 2015
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4128
Abstract
Polysaccharide-based hydrogels are very promising materials for a wide range of medical applications, ranging from tissue engineering to controlled drug delivery for local therapy. The most interesting property of this class of materials is the ability to be injected without any alteration of [...] Read more.
Polysaccharide-based hydrogels are very promising materials for a wide range of medical applications, ranging from tissue engineering to controlled drug delivery for local therapy. The most interesting property of this class of materials is the ability to be injected without any alteration of their chemical, mechanical and biological properties, by taking advantage of their thixotropic behavior. It is possible to modulate the rheological and chemical-physical properties of polysaccharide hydrogels by varying the cross-linking agents and exploiting their thixotropic behavior. We present here an overview of our synthetic strategies and applications of innovative polysaccharide-based hydrogels: hyaluronan-based hydrogel and new derivatives of carboxymethylcellulose have been used as matrices in the field of tissue engineering; while guar gum-based hydrogel and hybrid magnetic hydrogels, have been used as promising systems for targeted controlled drug release. Moreover, a new class of materials, interpenetrating hydrogels (IPH), have been obtained by mixing various native thixotropic hydrogels. Full article
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Editorial
Welcome to Gels—An Interdisciplinary Open Access Journal for a Growing Scientific Community
Gels 2015, 1(1), 1-2; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels1010001 - 22 Sep 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2841
Abstract
The ability of natural systems to change functions in response to altered environmental conditions has inspired scientists during the last decades to fabricate smart materials that respond to different stimuli (e.g., temperature, ionic strength, light, mechanical stress, electromagnetic radiation, mechanical stress, chemical additives).[...] [...] Read more.
The ability of natural systems to change functions in response to altered environmental conditions has inspired scientists during the last decades to fabricate smart materials that respond to different stimuli (e.g., temperature, ionic strength, light, mechanical stress, electromagnetic radiation, mechanical stress, chemical additives).[...] Full article
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