Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Gels, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2018)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) An electroactive system involving conducting polymers embedded into a polypeptide biohydrogel was [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle New Insights on the Role of Urea on the Dissolution and Thermally-Induced Gelation of Cellulose in Aqueous Alkali
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
Viewed by 286 | PDF Full-text (2059 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The gelation of cellulose in alkali solutions is quite relevant, but still a poorly understood process. Moreover, the role of certain additives, such as urea, is not consensual among the community. Therefore, in this work, an unusual set of characterization methods for cellulose
[...] Read more.
The gelation of cellulose in alkali solutions is quite relevant, but still a poorly understood process. Moreover, the role of certain additives, such as urea, is not consensual among the community. Therefore, in this work, an unusual set of characterization methods for cellulose solutions, such as cryo-transmission electronic microscopy (cryo-TEM), polarization transfer solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (PTssNMR) and diffusion wave spectroscopy (DWS) were employed to study the role of urea on the dissolution and gelation processes of cellulose in aqueous alkali. Cryo-TEM reveals that the addition of urea generally reduces the presence of undissolved cellulose fibrils in solution. These results are consistent with PTssNMR data, which show the reduction and in some cases the absence of crystalline portions of cellulose in solution, suggesting a pronounced positive effect of the urea on the dissolution efficiency of cellulose. Both conventional mechanical macrorheology and microrheology (DWS) indicate a significant delay of gelation induced by urea, being absent until ca. 60 °C for a system containing 5 wt % cellulose, while a system without urea gels at a lower temperature. For higher cellulose concentrations, the samples containing urea form gels even at room temperature. It is argued that since urea facilitates cellulose dissolution, the high entanglement of the cellulose chains in solution (above the critical concentration, C*) results in a strong three-dimensional network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharide Hydrogels)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Assembly of Conducting Polymer and Biohydrogel for the Release and Real-Time Monitoring of Vitamin K3
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
Viewed by 260 | PDF Full-text (4088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, we report the design and fabrication of a dual-function integrated system to monitor, in real time, the release of previously loaded 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (MeNQ), also named vitamin K3. The newly developed system consists of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanoparticles, which were embedded into
[...] Read more.
In this work, we report the design and fabrication of a dual-function integrated system to monitor, in real time, the release of previously loaded 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (MeNQ), also named vitamin K3. The newly developed system consists of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanoparticles, which were embedded into a poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) biohydrogel during the gelling reaction between the biopolymer chains and the cross-linker, cystamine. After this, agglomerates of PEDOT nanoparticles homogeneously dispersed inside the biohydrogel were used as polymerization nuclei for the in situ anodic synthesis of poly(hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) in aqueous solution. After characterization of the resulting flexible electrode composites, their ability to load and release MeNQ was proven and monitored. Specifically, loaded MeNQ molecules, which organized in shells around PEDOT nanoparticles agglomerates when the drug was simply added to the initial gelling solution, were progressively released to a physiological medium. The latter process was successfully monitored using an electrode composite through differential pulse voltammetry. The fabrication of electroactive flexible biohydrogels for real-time release monitoring opens new opportunities for theranostic therapeutic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels from the Self-Assembling of Peptide-Based Compounds)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Viscoelastic Oxidized Alginates with Reversible Imine Type Crosslinks: Self-Healing, Injectable, and Bioprintable Hydrogels
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
Viewed by 535 | PDF Full-text (8566 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bioprinting techniques allow for the recreation of 3D tissue-like structures. By deposition of hydrogels combined with cells (bioinks) in a spatially controlled way, one can create complex and multiscale structures. Despite this promise, the ability to deposit customizable cell-laden structures for soft tissues
[...] Read more.
Bioprinting techniques allow for the recreation of 3D tissue-like structures. By deposition of hydrogels combined with cells (bioinks) in a spatially controlled way, one can create complex and multiscale structures. Despite this promise, the ability to deposit customizable cell-laden structures for soft tissues is still limited. Traditionally, bioprinting relies on hydrogels comprised of covalent or mostly static crosslinks. Yet, soft tissues and the extracellular matrix (ECM) possess viscoelastic properties, which can be more appropriately mimicked with hydrogels containing reversible crosslinks. In this study, we have investigated aldehyde containing oxidized alginate (ox-alg), combined with different cross-linkers, to develop a small library of viscoelastic, self-healing, and bioprintable hydrogels. By using distinctly different imine-type dynamic covalent chemistries (DCvC), (oxime, semicarbazone, and hydrazone), rational tuning of rheological and mechanical properties was possible. While all materials showed biocompatibility, we observed that the nature of imine type crosslink had a marked influence on hydrogel stiffness, viscoelasticity, self-healing, cell morphology, and printability. The semicarbazone and hydrazone crosslinks were found to be viscoelastic, self-healing, and printable—without the need for additional Ca2+ crosslinking—while also promoting the adhesion and spreading of fibroblasts. In contrast, the oxime cross-linked gels were found to be mostly elastic and showed neither self-healing, suitable printability, nor fibroblast spreading. The semicarbazone and hydrazone gels hold great potential as dynamic 3D cell culture systems, for therapeutics and cell delivery, and a newer generation of smart bioinks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Hydrogels for (Bio)printing Applications)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Low-Cost Microfluidic Sensors with Smart Hydrogel Patterned Arrays Using Electronic Resistive Channel Sensing for Readout
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
Viewed by 327 | PDF Full-text (1768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a strong commercial need for inexpensive point-of-use sensors for monitoring disease biomarkers or environmental contaminants in drinking water. Point-of-use sensors that employ smart polymer hydrogels as recognition elements can be tailored to detect almost any target analyte, but often suffer from
[...] Read more.
There is a strong commercial need for inexpensive point-of-use sensors for monitoring disease biomarkers or environmental contaminants in drinking water. Point-of-use sensors that employ smart polymer hydrogels as recognition elements can be tailored to detect almost any target analyte, but often suffer from long response times. Hence, we describe here a fabrication process that can be used to manufacture low-cost point-of-use hydrogel-based microfluidics sensors with short response times. In this process, mask-templated UV photopolymerization is used to produce arrays of smart hydrogel pillars inside sub-millimeter channels located upon microfluidics devices. When these pillars contact aqueous solutions containing a target analyte, they swell or shrink, thereby changing the resistance of the microfluidic channel to ionic current flow when a small bias voltage is applied to the system. Hence resistance measurements can be used to transduce hydrogel swelling changes into electrical signals. The only instrumentation required is a simple portable potentiostat that can be operated using a smartphone or a laptop, thus making the system suitable for point of use. Rapid hydrogel response rate is achieved by fabricating arrays of smart hydrogels that have large surface area-to-volume ratios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Hydrogels for (Bio)printing Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Hydrogels as Porogens for Nanoporous Inorganic Materials
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
Viewed by 368 | PDF Full-text (2093 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organic polymer-hydrogels are known to be capable of directing the nucleation and growth of inorganic materials, such as silica, metal oxides, apatite or metal chalcogenides. This approach can be exploited in the synthesis of materials that exhibit defined nanoporosity. When the organic polymer-based
[...] Read more.
Organic polymer-hydrogels are known to be capable of directing the nucleation and growth of inorganic materials, such as silica, metal oxides, apatite or metal chalcogenides. This approach can be exploited in the synthesis of materials that exhibit defined nanoporosity. When the organic polymer-based hydrogel is incorporated in the inorganic product, a composite is formed from which the organic component may be selectively removed, yielding nanopores in the inorganic product. Such porogenic impact resembles the concept of using soft or hard templates for porous materials. This micro-review provides a survey of select examples from the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Gel Materials in the 21st Century)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessCommunication Evaluation of Hydrogels Based on Oxidized Hyaluronic Acid for Bioprinting
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
Viewed by 402 | PDF Full-text (1827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we evaluate hydrogels based on oxidized hyaluronic acid, cross-linked with adipic acid dihydrazide, for their suitability as bioinks for 3D bioprinting. Aldehyde containing hyaluronic acid (AHA) is synthesized and cross-linked via Schiff Base chemistry with bifunctional adipic acid dihydrazide (ADH)
[...] Read more.
In this study, we evaluate hydrogels based on oxidized hyaluronic acid, cross-linked with adipic acid dihydrazide, for their suitability as bioinks for 3D bioprinting. Aldehyde containing hyaluronic acid (AHA) is synthesized and cross-linked via Schiff Base chemistry with bifunctional adipic acid dihydrazide (ADH) to form a mechanically stable hydrogel with good printability. Mechanical and rheological properties of the printed and casted hydrogels are tunable depending on the concentrations of AHA and ADH cross-linkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharide Hydrogels)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Cryostructuring of Polymeric Systems. 49. Unexpected “Kosmotropic-Like” Impact of Organic Chaotropes on Freeze–Thaw-Induced Gelation of PVA in DMSO
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
Viewed by 492 | PDF Full-text (4014 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urea (URE) and guanidine hydrochloride (GHC) possessing strong chaotropic properties in aqueous media were added to DMSO solutions of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to be gelled via freeze–thaw processing. Unexpectedly, it turned out that in the case of the PVA cryotropic gel formation in
[...] Read more.
Urea (URE) and guanidine hydrochloride (GHC) possessing strong chaotropic properties in aqueous media were added to DMSO solutions of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to be gelled via freeze–thaw processing. Unexpectedly, it turned out that in the case of the PVA cryotropic gel formation in DMSO medium, the URE and GHC additives caused the opposite effects to those observed in water, i.e., the formation of the PVA cryogels (PVACGs) was strengthened rather than inhibited. Our studies of this phenomenon showed that such “kosmotropic-like” effects were more pronounced for the PVACGs that were formed in DMSO in the presence of URE additives, with the effects being concentration-dependent. The additives also caused significant changes in the macroporous morphology of the cryogels; the commonly observed trend was a decrease in the structural regularity of the additive-containing samples compared to the additive-free gel sample. The viscosity measurements revealed consistent changes in the intrinsic viscosity, Huggins constant, and the excess activation heat of the viscosity caused by the additives. The results obtained evidently point to the urea-induced decrease in the solvation ability of DMSO with respect to PVA. As a result, this effect can be the key factor that is responsible for strengthening the structure formation upon the freeze–thaw gelation of this polymer in DMSO additionally containing additives such as urea, which is capable of competing with PVA for the solvent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryogelation and Cryogels)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Highly Thiolated Poly (Beta-Amino Ester) Nanoparticles for Acute Redox Applications
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
Viewed by 303 | PDF Full-text (2369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Disulfides are used extensively in reversible cross-linking because of the ease of reduction into click-reactive thiols. However, the free-radical scavenging properties upon reduction are often under-considered. The free thiols produced upon reduction of this disulfide material mimic the cellular reducing chemistry (glutathione) that
[...] Read more.
Disulfides are used extensively in reversible cross-linking because of the ease of reduction into click-reactive thiols. However, the free-radical scavenging properties upon reduction are often under-considered. The free thiols produced upon reduction of this disulfide material mimic the cellular reducing chemistry (glutathione) that serves as a buffer against acute oxidative stress. A nanoparticle formulation producing biologically relevant concentrations of thiols may not only provide ample chemical conjugation sites, but potentially be useful against severe acute oxidative stress exposure, such as in targeted radioprotection. In this work, we describe the synthesis and characterization of highly thiolated poly (β-amino ester) (PBAE) nanoparticles formed from the reduction of bulk disulfide cross-linked PBAE hydrogels. Degradation-tunable PBAE hydrogels were initially synthesized containing up to 26 wt % cystamine, which were reduced into soluble thiolated oligomers and formulated into nanoparticles upon single emulsion. These thiolated nanoparticles were size-stable in phosphate buffered saline consisting of up to 11.0 ± 1.1 mM (3.7 ± 0.3 mmol thiol/g, n = 3 M ± SD), which is an antioxidant concentration within the order of magnitude of cellular glutathione (1–10 mM). Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Gels EISSN 2310-2861 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top