We investigated the water sorption properties of macroporous cryogels of gelatine (Gel) and dextran dialdehyde (DDA) prepared via cryogelation at 260 K and following the freeze drying processes. Water vapour sorption isotherms for aerogels were studied at 293 K by two independent methods: static-gravimetric and dynamic vapour sorption (DVS) over a water activity range of 0.11–1.0. Experimental data were fitted by use of the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Guggenheim–Anderson–de Boer (GAB) models. The BET model (for a water activity range of 0.1 ≤ p
≤ 0.5) was used to calculate the sorption parameters of the studied cryogels (the monolayer capacity, surface area and energy of interaction). In comparison with BET, the GAB model can be applied for the whole range of water activities (0.1 ≤ p
≤ 0.95). This model gave an almost perfect correlation between the experimental and calculated sorption isotherms using nonlinear least squares fitting (NLSF). Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) was used to confirm the structural differences between various DDA:Gel cryogel compositions. Thermogravimetric analysis and DSC data for aerogels DDA:Gel provided information regarding the bonded water loss, relative remaining water content of the material and the temperature of decomposition. Estimation of the amount of bound water in the cryogels after the freeze drying process as well as after the cycle of treatment of cryogels with high humidity and drying was performed using DSC. The results of the DSC determinations showed that cryogels with higher gelatin content had higher levels of bonded water.
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