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Gels, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 75 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The expanding antibiotic resistance is becoming a global health and environmental phenomenon. Multiple technologies have been advanced to help to control this phenomenon. One of these, hydrogel production, could prove to be particularly useful in these biological challenges through the development of antimicrobial hydrogels. The most promising strategies in obtaining these antimicrobial hydrogels and the application of hydrogels in the treatment of microbial infections must be weighed up. Hydrogels can be inherently and composite antimicrobial materials and are able to carry antimicrobials, involving antibiotics, nanoparticles, biological extracts, and antimicrobial peptides. The emergence of CRISR-Cas9 technology against antimicrobial resistance is driving the need for performant carriers to deliver this CRISPR-Cas9 system, as well as other delivery systems. View this paper
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21 pages, 1403 KiB  
Review
Advanced Nanocomposite Hydrogels for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
by Jianghong Huang, Fei Liu, Haijing Su, Jianyi Xiong, Lei Yang, Jiang Xia and Yujie Liang
Gels 2022, 8(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020138 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4805
Abstract
Tissue engineering is becoming an effective strategy for repairing cartilage damage. Synthesized nanocomposite hydrogels mimic the structure of natural cartilage extracellular matrices (ECMs), are biocompatible, and exhibit nano–bio effects in response to external stimuli. These inherent characteristics make nanocomposite hydrogels promising scaffold materials [...] Read more.
Tissue engineering is becoming an effective strategy for repairing cartilage damage. Synthesized nanocomposite hydrogels mimic the structure of natural cartilage extracellular matrices (ECMs), are biocompatible, and exhibit nano–bio effects in response to external stimuli. These inherent characteristics make nanocomposite hydrogels promising scaffold materials for cartilage tissue engineering. This review summarizes the advances made in the field of nanocomposite hydrogels for artificial cartilage. We discuss, in detail, their preparation methods and scope of application. The challenges involved for the application of hydrogel nanocomposites for cartilage repair are also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances on Functional Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogels)
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10 pages, 4052 KiB  
Article
TiO2 Nanoparticle-Loaded Poly(NIPA-co-NMA) Fiber Web for the Adsorption and Photocatalytic Degradation of 4-Isopropylphenol
by Hideaki Tokuyama and Ryosuke Hamaguchi
Gels 2022, 8(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020137 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
A TiO2 nanoparticle-loaded polymer fiber web was developed as a functional material with the ability to adsorb and photo-catalytically degrade organic pollutants in aquatic media. A linear copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide (primary component) and N-methylol acrylamide (poly(NIPA-co-NMA)) was prepared, [...] Read more.
A TiO2 nanoparticle-loaded polymer fiber web was developed as a functional material with the ability to adsorb and photo-catalytically degrade organic pollutants in aquatic media. A linear copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide (primary component) and N-methylol acrylamide (poly(NIPA-co-NMA)) was prepared, and composite fibers were fabricated by electrospinning a methanol suspension containing the copolymer and commercially available TiO2 nanoparticles. The crosslinking of the polymer via the formation of methylene bridges between NMA units was accomplished by heating, and the fiber morphology was analyzed by electron microscopy. 4-Isopropylphenol generated by the degradation of bisphenol A—one of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals—was used as the model organic pollutant. As poly(NIPA) is a thermosensitive polymer that undergoes hydrophilic/hydrophobic transition in water, the temperature-dependence of the adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of 4-isopropylphenol was investigated. The degradation rate was analyzed using a pseudo-first-order kinetic model to obtain the apparent reaction rate constant, kapp. The enhancement of the photocatalytic degradation rate owing to the adsorption of 4-isopropylphenol onto thermosensitive poly(NIPA)-based fibers is discussed in terms of the ratio of the kapp of the composite fiber to that of unsupported TiO2 nanoparticles. Based on the results, an eco-friendly wastewater treatment process involving periodically alternated adsorption and photocatalytic degradation is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removing Hazardous Materials from Water Using Polymer Hydrogel)
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11 pages, 12553 KiB  
Article
Formation of Hydrogels Based on a Copolymer of N-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidone and Glycidyl Methacrylate in the Presence of the Reaction Product of 1,3-Dimethylmidazolium Dimethylphosphate and Elemental Sulfur
by Natalia Tarasova, Efrem Krivoborodov, Alexey Zanin, Ekaterina Pascal, Ilya Toropygin, Alexander Artyukhov, Samson Muradyan and Yaroslav Mezhuev
Gels 2022, 8(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020136 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2127
Abstract
The aim of the study is to search for a reaction that provides the possibility of tandem “one-pot” formation of polymer networks during radical copolymerization of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone and glycidyl methacrylate. It was shown that the addition of recently synthesized 1,3-dimethylimidazolium (phosphonooxy-)oligosulfanide makes [...] Read more.
The aim of the study is to search for a reaction that provides the possibility of tandem “one-pot” formation of polymer networks during radical copolymerization of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone and glycidyl methacrylate. It was shown that the addition of recently synthesized 1,3-dimethylimidazolium (phosphonooxy-)oligosulfanide makes it possible to obtain a cross-linked copolymer in one stage as a result of radical copolymerization of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone and glycidyl methacrylate with a molar ratio of monomers less than 1.4. The structure of the copolymerization products of N-vinyl-2-pyrroldione and glycidyl methacrylate formed in the presence of 1,3-dimethylimidazolium (phosphonooxy-)oligosulfanide was characterized by 1H NMR, FTIR and MALDI spectroscopy. 1H NMR spectroscopy revealed an interaction under moderate heating between glycidyl methacrylate and 1,3-dimethylimidazolium (phosphonooxy-)oligosulfanide, accompanied by the formation of a mixture of unsaturated products of complex structure, presumably acting as crosslinking agents. It is shown that when the molar ratio of N-vinyl-2-pyrroldione/glycidyl methacrylate comonomers is 0.89, a densely crosslinked copolymer is formed, capable of limited swelling in water with a velocity constant of 5.06 × 10−2 min−1 and an equilibrium degree of swelling of about 227%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of Gels and Its Applications)
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27 pages, 2206 KiB  
Review
Maillard-Type Protein–Polysaccharide Conjugates and Electrostatic Protein–Polysaccharide Complexes as Delivery Vehicles for Food Bioactive Ingredients: Formation, Types, and Applications
by Xiaohong Sun, Hao Wang, Shengnan Li, Chunli Song, Songyuan Zhang, Jian Ren and Chibuike C. Udenigwe
Gels 2022, 8(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020135 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5989
Abstract
Due to their combination of featured properties, protein and polysaccharide-based carriers show promising potential in food bioactive ingredient encapsulation, protection, and delivery. The formation of protein–polysaccharide complexes and conjugates involves non-covalent interactions and covalent interaction, respectively. The common types of protein–polysaccharide complex/conjugate-based bioactive [...] Read more.
Due to their combination of featured properties, protein and polysaccharide-based carriers show promising potential in food bioactive ingredient encapsulation, protection, and delivery. The formation of protein–polysaccharide complexes and conjugates involves non-covalent interactions and covalent interaction, respectively. The common types of protein–polysaccharide complex/conjugate-based bioactive ingredient delivery systems include emulsion (conventional emulsion, nanoemulsion, multiple emulsion, multilayered emulsion, and Pickering emulsion), microcapsule, hydrogel, and nanoparticle-based delivery systems. This review highlights the applications of protein–polysaccharide-based delivery vehicles in common bioactive ingredients including polyphenols, food proteins, bioactive peptides, carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals. The loaded food bioactive ingredients exhibited enhanced physicochemical stability, bioaccessibility, and sustained release in simulated gastrointestinal digestion. However, limited research has been conducted in determining the in vivo oral bioavailability of encapsulated bioactive compounds. An in vitro simulated gastrointestinal digestion model incorporating gut microbiota and a mucus layer is suggested for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances on Gels for Food Industry)
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14 pages, 3719 KiB  
Article
Photodynamic Therapy with Natural Photosensitizers in the Management of Periodontal Disease Induced in Rats
by Laura Monica Dascalu (Rusu), Marioara Moldovan, Codruta Sarosi, Sorina Sava, Alexandra Dreanca, Calin Repciuc, Robert Purdoiu, Andras Nagy, Mîndra Eugenia Badea, Ariadna Georgiana Paun, Iulia Clara Badea and Radu Chifor
Gels 2022, 8(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020134 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the effect of new natural photosensitizers (PS) (based on oregano essential oil, curcuma extract, and arnica oil) through in vitro cytotoxicity and biological tests in rat-induced periodontal disease, treated with photodynamic therapy (aPDT). The cytotoxicity of PS was [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the effect of new natural photosensitizers (PS) (based on oregano essential oil, curcuma extract, and arnica oil) through in vitro cytotoxicity and biological tests in rat-induced periodontal disease, treated with photodynamic therapy (aPDT). The cytotoxicity of PS was performed on human dental pulp mesenchymal stem cells (dMSCs) and human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cell lines. Periodontal disease was induced by ligation of the first mandibular molar of 25 rats, which were divided into 5 groups: control group, periodontitis group, Curcuma and aPDT-treated group, oregano and aPDT-treated group, and aPDT group. The animals were euthanized after 4 weeks of study. Computed tomography imaging has been used to evaluate alveolar bone loss. Hematological and histological evaluation showed a greater magnitude of the inflammatory response and severe destruction of the periodontal ligaments in the untreated group.. For the group with the induced periodontitis and treated with natural photosensitizers, the aPDT improved the results; this therapy could be an important adjuvant treatment. The obtained results of these preliminary studies encourage us to continue the research of periodontitis treated with natural photosensitizers activated by photodynamic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioceramics, Bioglasses and Gels for Tissue Engineering)
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17 pages, 3763 KiB  
Article
Formulation and Evaluation of Topical Nano-Lipid-Based Delivery of Butenafine: In Vitro Characterization and Antifungal Activity
by Ameeduzzafar Zafar, Syed Sarim Imam, Nabil K. Alruwaili, Mohd Yasir, Omar Awad Alsaidan, Sultan Alshehri, Mohammed M. Ghoneim, Mohammad Khalid, Ali Alquraini and Salman S. Alharthi
Gels 2022, 8(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020133 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2458
Abstract
The present research work was designed to prepare butenafine (BN)-loaded bilosomes (BSs) by the thin-film hydration method. BN is a sparingly water-soluble drug having low permeability and bioavailability. BSs are lipid-based nanovesicles used to entrap water-insoluble drugs for enhanced permeation across the skin. [...] Read more.
The present research work was designed to prepare butenafine (BN)-loaded bilosomes (BSs) by the thin-film hydration method. BN is a sparingly water-soluble drug having low permeability and bioavailability. BSs are lipid-based nanovesicles used to entrap water-insoluble drugs for enhanced permeation across the skin. BSs were prepared by the thin-film hydration method and optimized by the Box–Behnken design (BBD) using lipid (A), span 60 (B), and sodium deoxycholate (C) as independent variables. The selected formulation (BN-BSo) was converted into the gel using Carbopol 940 as a gelling agent. The prepared optimized gel (BN-BS-og) was further evaluated for the gel characterization, drug release, drug permeation, irritation, and anti-fungal study. The optimized bilosomes (BN-BSo) showed a mean vesicle size of 215 ± 6.5 nm and an entrapment efficiency of 89.2 ± 1.5%. The DSC study showed that BN was completely encapsulated in the BS lipid matrix. BN-BSog showed good viscosity, consistency, spreadability, and pH. A significantly (p < 0.05) high release (81.09 ± 4.01%) was achieved from BN-BSo compared to BN-BSog (65.85 ± 4.87%) and pure BN (17.54 ± 1.37 %). The permeation study results revealed that BN-BSo, BN-BSog, and pure BN exhibited 56.2 ± 2.7%, 39.2 ± 2.9%, and 16.6 ± 2.3%. The enhancement ratio of permeation flux was found to be 1.4-fold and 3.4-fold for the BN-BS-og and pure BN dispersion. The HET-CAM study showed that BN-BSog was found to be nonirritant as the score was found within the limit. The antifungal study revealed a significant (p < 0.05) enhanced antifungal activity against C. albicans and A. niger. The findings of the study revealed that BS is an important drug delivery system for transdermal delivery. Full article
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9 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
Using Rheology to Understand Transient and Dynamic Gels
by Simona Bianco, Santanu Panja and Dave J. Adams
Gels 2022, 8(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020132 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3376
Abstract
Supramolecular gels can be designed such that pre-determined changes in state occur. For example, systems that go from a solution (sol) state to a gel state and then back to a sol state can be prepared using chemical processes to control the onset [...] Read more.
Supramolecular gels can be designed such that pre-determined changes in state occur. For example, systems that go from a solution (sol) state to a gel state and then back to a sol state can be prepared using chemical processes to control the onset and duration of each change of state. Based on this, more complex systems such as gel-to-sol-to-gel and gel-to-gel-to-gel systems can be designed. Here, we show that we can provide additional insights into such systems by using rheological measurements at varying values of frequency or strain during the evolution of the systems. Since the different states are affected to different degrees by the frequency and/or strain applied, this allows us to better understand and follow the changes in state in such systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Gel Materials)
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13 pages, 6557 KiB  
Article
Chitosan Based Aerogels with Low Shrinkage by Chemical Cross-Linking and Supramolecular Interaction
by Sizhao Zhang, Qi Xiao, Yunyun Xiao, Zhengquan Li, Shixian Xiong, Feng Ding and Junpeng He
Gels 2022, 8(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020131 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2570
Abstract
Chitosan (CTS) aerogel is a new type of functional material that could be possibly applied in the thermal insulation field, especially in energy-saving buildings. However, the inhibition method for the very big shrinkage of CTS aerogels from the final gel to the aerogel [...] Read more.
Chitosan (CTS) aerogel is a new type of functional material that could be possibly applied in the thermal insulation field, especially in energy-saving buildings. However, the inhibition method for the very big shrinkage of CTS aerogels from the final gel to the aerogel is challenging, causing great difficulty in achieving a near-net shape of CTS aerogels. Here, this study explored a facile strategy for restraining CTS-based aerogels’ inherent shrinkage depending on the chemical crosslinking and the interpenetrated supramolecular interaction by introducing nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) chains. The effects of different aspect ratios of NFC on the CTS-based aerogels were systematically analyzed. The results showed that the optimal aspect ratio for NFC introduction was 37.5 from the comprehensive property perspective. CTS/PVA/NFC hybrid aerogels with the aspect ratio of 37.5 for NFC gained a superior thermal conductivity of 0.0224 W/m• K at ambient atmosphere (the cold surface temperature was only 33.46 °C, despite contacting the hot surface of 80.46 °C), a low density of 0.09 g/cm3, and a relatively high compressive stress of 0.51 MPa at 10% strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitosan-Based Gels)
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11 pages, 2950 KiB  
Article
Structure and Properties of Phosphate-Based Geopolymer Synthesized with the Spent Fluid Catalytic-Cracking (SFCC) Catalyst
by Qian Wan, Ruobing Zhang and Yimin Zhang
Gels 2022, 8(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020130 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
As a common industrial by-product, the spend fluid catalytic-cracking (SFCC) catalyst was used to prepare phosphate-based geopolymer for the first time. The structure and property of geopolymer with phosphoric acid concentration ranging from 6 to 14 mol/L was characterized by compressive strength measurements, [...] Read more.
As a common industrial by-product, the spend fluid catalytic-cracking (SFCC) catalyst was used to prepare phosphate-based geopolymer for the first time. The structure and property of geopolymer with phosphoric acid concentration ranging from 6 to 14 mol/L was characterized by compressive strength measurements, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and 27Al and 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). A stable binder was formed with the compressive strength in the range of 9.8 to 30.2 MPa when the acid concentration was between 6 and 12 mol/L. The higher concentration of acid can promote the dissolution of raw materials and formation of geopolymer gels. The coordination of silicon and aluminum in geopolymer gel synthesized with the SFCC catalyst and metakaolin is similar. Compared with the geopolymer with metakaolin, which forms more Si-O-Al bonds, in the networks of geopolymer with the SFCC catalyst, more Si(Al)-O-P bonds were formed. These results indicate that the SFCC catalyst can be an excellent raw material for the synthesis of phosphate-based geopolymer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymer Gels for Next-Generation Construction)
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14 pages, 1367 KiB  
Article
Tacrolimus-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticle Gel: Formulation Development and In Vitro Assessment for Topical Applications
by Abdul Shakur Khan, Kifayat Ullah Shah, Mohammed Al Mohaini, Abdulkhaliq J. Alsalman, Maitham A. Al Hawaj, Yousef N. Alhashem, Shakira Ghazanfar, Kamran Ahmad Khan, Zahid Rasul Niazi and Arshad Farid
Gels 2022, 8(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020129 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3109
Abstract
The currently available topical formulations of tacrolimus have minimal and variable absorption, elevated mean disposition half-life, and skin irritation effects resulting in patient noncompliance. In our study, we fabricated tacrolimus-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) that were converted into a gel for improved topical [...] Read more.
The currently available topical formulations of tacrolimus have minimal and variable absorption, elevated mean disposition half-life, and skin irritation effects resulting in patient noncompliance. In our study, we fabricated tacrolimus-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) that were converted into a gel for improved topical applications. The SLNs were prepared using a solvent evaporation method and characterized for their physicochemical properties. The particle size of the SLNs was in the range of 439 nm to 669 nm with a PDI of ≤0.4, indicating a monodispersed system. The Zeta potential of uncoated SLNs (F1–F5) ranged from −25.80 to −15.40 mV. Those values reverted to positive values for chitosan-decorated formulation (F6). The drug content and entrapment efficiency ranged between 0.86 ± 0.03 and 0.91 ± 0.03 mg/mL and 68.95 ± 0.03 and 83.68 ± 0.04%, respectively. The pH values of 5.45 to 5.53 depict their compatibility for skin application. The surface tension of the SLNs decreased with increasing surfactant concentration that could increase the adherence of the SLNs to the skin. The release of drug from gel formulations was significantly retarded in comparison to their corresponding SLN counterparts (p ≤ 0.05). Both SLNs and their corresponding gel achieved the same level of drug permeation, but the retention of the drug was significantly improved with the conversion of SLNs into their corresponding gel formulation (p ≤ 0.05) due to its higher bioadhesive properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposomal and Ethosomal Gels: From Design to Application)
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16 pages, 2302 KiB  
Article
Mixed Micellization, Thermodynamic and Adsorption Behavior of Tetracaine Hydrochloride in the Presence of Cationic Gemini/Conventional Surfactants
by Naved Azum, Malik Abdul Rub, Anish Khan, Maha M. Alotaibi, Abdullah M. Asiri and Mohammed M. Rahman
Gels 2022, 8(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020128 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
In this approach, tensiometry and UV-visible techniques are used to determine the effect of cationic gemini and conventional surfactants on tetracaine hydrochloride (TCH), an anesthetic drug. We have estimated micellar, interfacial, and energetic constraints. To gain a deep understanding of their mixed association [...] Read more.
In this approach, tensiometry and UV-visible techniques are used to determine the effect of cationic gemini and conventional surfactants on tetracaine hydrochloride (TCH), an anesthetic drug. We have estimated micellar, interfacial, and energetic constraints. To gain a deep understanding of their mixed association behavior, the outputs were examined using different theoretical models. The critical micelle concentration for single and mixed amphiphiles was estimated. The cmc values of mixed amphiphiles were found between the individual amphiphiles due to strong attractive interaction (synergism) between the components after mixing. The non-ideal behavior of mixtures was confirmed by the larger values of ideal cmc than the experimental cmc values. The negative values of interaction parameter (β) and values of activity coefficients less than unity indicate strong synergistic interaction between drug and surfactant. The stability of the mixed systems is demonstrated by the negative Gibbs free energy of micellization and excess free energy of micellization. In contrast to a single chain surfactant, a double chain surfactant (gemini) exhibits better interactions with the drug. Spectral measurements (UV-visible spectra) were used to monitor the binding of the drug with surfactant (conventional as well as gemini). Studying these mixed aggregates could help to optimize their compositions and find synergistic properties between TCH monomers and surfactants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gel Applications)
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23 pages, 4019 KiB  
Review
Functional Hydrogels for Treatment of Chronic Wounds
by Ilayda Firlar, Mine Altunbek, Colleen McCarthy, Murugan Ramalingam and Gulden Camci-Unal
Gels 2022, 8(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020127 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 8700
Abstract
Chronic wounds severely affect 1–2% of the population in developed countries. It has been reported that nearly 6.5 million people in the United States suffer from at least one chronic wound in their lifetime. The treatment of chronic wounds is critical for maintaining [...] Read more.
Chronic wounds severely affect 1–2% of the population in developed countries. It has been reported that nearly 6.5 million people in the United States suffer from at least one chronic wound in their lifetime. The treatment of chronic wounds is critical for maintaining the physical and mental well-being of patients and improving their quality of life. There are a host of methods for the treatment of chronic wounds, including debridement, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, ultrasound, and electromagnetic therapies, negative pressure wound therapy, skin grafts, and hydrogel dressings. Among these, hydrogel dressings represent a promising and viable choice because their tunable functional properties, such as biodegradability, adhesivity, and antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pre-angiogenic bioactivities, can accelerate the healing of chronic wounds. This review summarizes the types of chronic wounds, phases of the healing process, and key therapeutic approaches. Hydrogel-based dressings are reviewed for their multifunctional properties and their advantages for the treatment of chronic wounds. Examples of commercially available hydrogel dressings are also provided to demonstrate their effectiveness over other types of wound dressings for chronic wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels: 6th Anniversary)
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20 pages, 6318 KiB  
Article
Hydrogel Containing Borassus flabellifer L. Male Flower Extract for Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Anti-Inflammatory Activity
by Prakairat Tunit, Phanit Thammarat, Siriporn Okonogi and Chuda Chittasupho
Gels 2022, 8(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020126 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3212
Abstract
Borassus flabellifer L. is a plant in Arecaceae family, widely distributed and cultivated in tropical Asian countries. The purpose of this study was to identify the bioactive compounds of B.flabellifer L. male flower ethanolic extract and investigate the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial [...] Read more.
Borassus flabellifer L. is a plant in Arecaceae family, widely distributed and cultivated in tropical Asian countries. The purpose of this study was to identify the bioactive compounds of B.flabellifer L. male flower ethanolic extract and investigate the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities against Cutibacterium acnes. Total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids in B.flabellifer L. male flower ethanolic extract were determined by the Folin–Ciocalteu method and aluminum chloride colorimetric assay, respectively. Active substances in the extract and their quantities were analyzed by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). The antioxidant evaluation was carried out using DPPH, ABTS free radical scavenging assays, and FRAP assay. C. acnes inhibitory activity was performed by the broth microdilution method. Anti-inflammatory activity was determined by the protein denaturation assay. In addition, gel containing different amounts of B.flabellifer L. male flower extract was formulated. The physical stability of the gel was observed by measuring viscosity and pH after six heating and cooling cycles, as well as 1-month storage at 4, 30, and 45 °C. The total phenolic content in the extract was 268.30 ± 12.84 mg gallic acid equivalent/g crude dry extract. The total flavonoid contents in the extract were 1886.38 ± 55.86 mg quercetin equivalent/g extract and 2884.88 ± 128.98 mg EGCG equivalent/g extract, respectively. The LC–MS/MS analysis revealed the presence of gallic acid, coumarin, and quercetin and the concentrations of quercetin, coumarin, and gallic acid in B. flabellifer male flower ethanolic extract were 0.912, 0.021, and 1.610 µg/mL, respectively. DPPH and ABTS antioxidant assays indicated that the B.flabellifer L. male flower extract had IC50 values of 31.54 ± 0.43 and 164.5 ± 14.3 µg/mL, respectively. FRAP assay revealed that the B.flabellifer male flower extract had high ferric ion reducing power. The extract was able to inhibit C.acnes bacteria with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 250 mg/mL. At 250 and 500 µg/mL, the extract demonstrated the highest anti-inflammatory activity. The gel containing 31.25% w/w and 62.5% w/w showed good physical stability after six heating and cooling cycles, as well as 1-month storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels)
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25 pages, 9841 KiB  
Article
Molybdate Recovery by Adsorption onto Silica Matrix and Iron Oxide Based Composites
by Florin Matusoiu, Adina Negrea, Mihaela Ciopec, Narcis Duteanu, Petru Negrea, Paula Svera and Catalin Ianasi
Gels 2022, 8(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020125 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Aggressive industrial development over the last century involved different heavy metals being used, including high quantities of molybdenum, which need to be treated before discharge in industrial waters. Molybdenum’s market price and industrial applicability make its recovery a big challenge. In the present [...] Read more.
Aggressive industrial development over the last century involved different heavy metals being used, including high quantities of molybdenum, which need to be treated before discharge in industrial waters. Molybdenum’s market price and industrial applicability make its recovery a big challenge. In the present study the possibility to recover molybdenum ions from aqueous solutions by adsorption on a composite material based on silica matrix and iron oxides—SiO2FexOy—was evaluated. Tests were performed in order to determine the influence of adsorbent material dose, initial solution pH, contact time and temperature over adsorption capacity of synthesized adsorbent material. For better understanding of the adsorption process, the obtained experimental data were modelled using Langmuir, Freundlich and Sips adsorption isotherms. Based on the obtained data, it can proved that the Sips isotherm was describing with better orderliness the studied process, obtaining a maximum adsorption capacity of 10.95 mg MoO42 for each gram of material. By modelling the studied adsorption process, it was proven that the pseudo-second order model is accurately describing the adsorption process. By fitting experimental data with Weber-Morris model, it was proven that MoO42 adsorption is a complex process, occurring in two different steps, one controlled by diffusion and the second one controlled by mass transfer. Further, studies were performed in order to determine the optimum pH value needed to obtain maximum adsorption capacity, but also to determine which are the adsorbed species. From pH and desorption studies, it was proven that molybdate adsorption is a physical process. In order to establish the adsorption mechanism, the thermodynamic parameters (ΔG0, ΔH0 and ΔS0) were determined. Full article
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15 pages, 3056 KiB  
Article
3D Chitosan-Gallic Acid Complexes: Assessment of the Chemical and Biological Properties
by Maria Marzano, Nicola Borbone, Felice Amato, Giorgia Oliviero, Pierpaolo Fucile, Teresa Russo and Filomena Sannino
Gels 2022, 8(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020124 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
Three-dimensional chitosan-gallic acid complexes were proposed and prepared for the first time by a simple adsorption process of gallic acid (GA) on three-dimensional chitosan structures (3D chitosan). Highly porous 3D devices facilitate a high GA load, up to 2015 mmol/kg at pH 4.0. [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional chitosan-gallic acid complexes were proposed and prepared for the first time by a simple adsorption process of gallic acid (GA) on three-dimensional chitosan structures (3D chitosan). Highly porous 3D devices facilitate a high GA load, up to 2015 mmol/kg at pH 4.0. The preservation of the redox state of GA released from 3D chitosan was confirmed by spectroscopic analyses. The antioxidant activity of 3D chitosan-GA complexes was assessed using the DPPH radical scavenging assay and was found to be dramatically higher than that of free chitosan. The mechanical property of 3D chitosan–GA complexes was also evaluated using a compression test. Finally, 3D chitosan–GA complexes showed a significant antimicrobial capacity against E. coli and S. aureus, selected, respectively, as a model strain for Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Our study demonstrated a new, simple, and eco-friendly approach to prepare functional chitosan-based complexes for nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, and pharmaceutical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitosan Functional Hydrogels: Synthesis and Applications)
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13 pages, 4398 KiB  
Article
Study on Thermal Stability of Gel Foam Co-Stabilized by Hydrophilic Silica Nanoparticles and Surfactants
by Youjie Sheng, Yunchuan Peng, Shanwen Zhang, Ying Guo, Li Ma, Qiuhong Wang and Hanling Zhang
Gels 2022, 8(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020123 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
The combination of nanoparticles (NP) and surfactant has been intensively studied to improve the thermal stability and optimize the performance of foams. This study focuses on the influence of silica NPs with different concentration on the thermal stability of gel foams based on [...] Read more.
The combination of nanoparticles (NP) and surfactant has been intensively studied to improve the thermal stability and optimize the performance of foams. This study focuses on the influence of silica NPs with different concentration on the thermal stability of gel foams based on a mixture of fluorocarbon (FS-50) and hydrocarbon (APG0810) surfactants. The surface activity, conductivity, viscosity, and foaming ability of the APG0810/FS-50/NPs dispersions are characterized. The effects of NP concentration on coarsening, drainage, and decay, as well as of the gel foams under thermal action, are systematically studied. Results show that NP concentration has a significant effect on the molecular interactions of the APG0810/FS-50/NP dispersions. The surface tension and conductivity of the dispersions decrease but the viscosity increases with the increase in NP concentration. The foaming ability of APG0810/FS-50 solution is reduced by the addition of NPs and decreases with the increase in NP concentration. The coarsening, drainage, and decay of the gel foams under thermal action slow down significantly with increasing NP concentration. The thermal stability of the gel foams increases with the addition of NPs and further increases with the increase in NP concentration. This study provides a theoretical guidance for the application for gel foams containing NPs and surfactants in fire-extinguishing agents. Full article
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15 pages, 1846 KiB  
Review
Hydrogels in Burn Wound Management—A Review
by Agnieszka Surowiecka, Jerzy Strużyna, Aleksandra Winiarska and Tomasz Korzeniowski
Gels 2022, 8(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020122 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 7603 | Correction
Abstract
Inert hydrogels are of a great importance in burn first aid. Hydrogel dressings may be an alternative to cooling burn wounds with streaming water, especially in cases of mass casualty events, lack of clean water, hypothermia, or large extent of burns. Hydrogels that [...] Read more.
Inert hydrogels are of a great importance in burn first aid. Hydrogel dressings may be an alternative to cooling burn wounds with streaming water, especially in cases of mass casualty events, lack of clean water, hypothermia, or large extent of burns. Hydrogels that contain mostly water evacuate the heat cumulating in the skin by evaporation. They not only cool the burn wound, but also reduce pain and protect the wound area from contamination and further injuries. Hydrogels are ideally used during the first hours after injury, but as they do not have antimicrobial properties per se, they might not prevent wound infection. The hydrogel matrix enables incorporating active substances into the dressing. The active forms may contain ammonium salts, nanocrystal silver, zinc, growth factor, cytokines, or cells, as well as natural agents, such as honey or herbs. Active dressings may have antimicrobial activity or stimulate wound healing. Numerous experiments on animal models proved their safety and efficiency. Hydrogels are a new dressing type that are still in development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Horizons: From Science to Smart Materials)
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13 pages, 3705 KiB  
Article
Development of an Injectable Shear-Thinning Nanocomposite Hydrogel for Cardiac Tissue Engineering
by Samaneh Soltani, Rahmatollah Emadi, Shaghayegh Haghjooy Javanmard, Mahshid Kharaziha, Abbas Rahmati, Vijay Kumar Thakur and Saeid Lotfian
Gels 2022, 8(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020121 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer a promising therapeutic method for cardiac tissue regeneration. However, to monitor the fate of MSCs for tissue repair, a better stem cell delivery carrier is needed. Developing a unique injectable and shear-thinning dual cross-linked hybrid hydrogel [...] Read more.
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer a promising therapeutic method for cardiac tissue regeneration. However, to monitor the fate of MSCs for tissue repair, a better stem cell delivery carrier is needed. Developing a unique injectable and shear-thinning dual cross-linked hybrid hydrogel for MSC delivery for cardiac tissue engineering is highly desirable. This hydrogel was synthesised using guest: host reaction based on alginate-cyclodextrin (Alg-CD) and adamantane-graphene oxide (Ad-GO). Here, the role of macromere concentration (10 and 12%) on the MSC function is discussed. Our hybrid hydrogels reveal a suitable oxygen pathway required for cell survival. However, this value is strongly dependent on the macromere concentrations, while the hydrogels with 12% macromere concentration (2DC12) significantly enhanced the oxygen permeability value (1.16-fold). Moreover, after two weeks of culture, rat MSCs (rMSCs) encapsulated in Alg-GO hydrogels expressed troponin T (TNT) and GATA4 markers. Noticeably, the 2DC12 hydrogels enhance rMSCs differentiation markers (1.30-times for TNT and 1.21-times for GATA4). Overall, our findings indicate that tuning the hydrogel compositions regulates the fate of encapsulated rMSCs within hydrogels. These outcomes may promote the advancement of new multifunctional platforms that consider the spatial and transient guidelines of undifferentiated cell destiny and capacity even after transplantation for heart tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Horizons: From Science to Smart Materials)
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22 pages, 4266 KiB  
Article
Antibacterial Hydrogels Derived from Poly(γ-glutamic acid) Nanofibers
by Hamidreza Kasbiyan, Omid Yousefzade, Estelle Simiand, Núria Saperas, Luis J. del Valle and Jordi Puiggalí
Gels 2022, 8(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020120 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2425
Abstract
Biocompatible hydrogels with antibacterial properties derived from γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA) were prepared from bulk and electrospun nanofibers. The antibacterial drugs loaded in these hydrogels were triclosan (TCS), chlorhexidine (CHX) and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB); furthermore, bacteriophages were loaded as an alternative antibacterial agent. Continuous [...] Read more.
Biocompatible hydrogels with antibacterial properties derived from γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA) were prepared from bulk and electrospun nanofibers. The antibacterial drugs loaded in these hydrogels were triclosan (TCS), chlorhexidine (CHX) and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB); furthermore, bacteriophages were loaded as an alternative antibacterial agent. Continuous and regular γ-PGA nanofibers were successfully obtained by the electrospinning of trifluoroacetic acid solutions in a narrow polymer concentration range and restricted parameter values of flow rate, voltage and needle-collector distance. Hydrogels were successfully obtained by using cystamine as a crosslinking agent following previous published procedures. A closed pore structure was characteristic of bulk hydrogels, whereas an open but structurally consistent structure was found in the electrospun hydrogels. In this case, the morphology of the electrospun nanofibers was drastically modified after the crosslinking reaction, increasing their diameter and surface roughness according to the amount of the added crosslinker. The release of TCS, CHX, PHMB and bacteriophages was evaluated for the different samples, being results dependent on the hydrophobicity of the selected medium and the percentage of the added cystamine. A high efficiency of hydrogels to load bacteriophages and preserve their bactericide activity was demonstrated too. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Gel Materials)
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10 pages, 1581 KiB  
Article
Do Polymeric Nanoparticles Really Enhance the Bioavailability of Oral Drugs? A Quantitative Answer Using Meta-Analysis
by Rania M. Hathout
Gels 2022, 8(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020119 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
The oral route remains one of the most popular and important routes of administration for drugs—one that warrants the development of advanced drug delivery systems, such as polymeric nanoparticles capable of enhancing the absorption and bioavailability of the used drugs. In this work, [...] Read more.
The oral route remains one of the most popular and important routes of administration for drugs—one that warrants the development of advanced drug delivery systems, such as polymeric nanoparticles capable of enhancing the absorption and bioavailability of the used drugs. In this work, a systematic review of published works on several databases, followed by a meta-analysis, were utilized in order to navigate the published studies and access literature-based evidence about the capability of polymeric nanoparticulate systems to augment the absorption and bioavailability of orally administered drugs. The pharmacokinetic parameter of the area under the curve (AUC) was utilized as the “effect” of this meta-analytical study. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant increase in AUC compared to conventional formulations. Furthermore, comparing the synthetic polymeric nanoparticles, versus their naturally-based administered counterparts, as subgroups of the meta-analysis, revealed no significant differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Crosslinked Gels)
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26 pages, 8051 KiB  
Article
Regenerative Activities of ROS-Modulating Trace Metals in Subcutaneously Implanted Biodegradable Cryogel
by Abdulla A. Yergeshov, Mohamed Zoughaib, Rezeda A. Ishkaeva, Irina N. Savina and Timur I. Abdullin
Gels 2022, 8(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020118 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2710
Abstract
Divalent trace metals (TM), especially copper (Cu), cobalt (Co) and zinc (Zn), are recognized as essential microelements for tissue homeostasis and regeneration. To achieve a balance between therapeutic activity and safety of administered TMs, effective gel formulations of TMs with elucidated regenerative mechanisms [...] Read more.
Divalent trace metals (TM), especially copper (Cu), cobalt (Co) and zinc (Zn), are recognized as essential microelements for tissue homeostasis and regeneration. To achieve a balance between therapeutic activity and safety of administered TMs, effective gel formulations of TMs with elucidated regenerative mechanisms are required. We studied in vitro and in vivo effects of biodegradable macroporous cryogels doped with Cu, Co or Zn in a controllable manner. The extracellular ROS generation by metal dopants was assessed and compared with the intracellular effect of soluble TMs. The stimulating ability of TMs in the cryogels for cell proliferation, differentiation and cytokine/growth factor biosynthesis was characterized using HSF and HUVEC primary human cells. Multiple responses of host tissues to the TM-doped cryogels upon subcutaneous implantation were characterized taking into account the rate of biodegradation, production of HIF-1α/matrix metalloproteinases and the appearance of immune cells. Cu and Zn dopants did not disturb the intact skin organization while inducing specific stimulating effects on different skin structures, including vasculature, whereas Co dopant caused a significant reorganization of skin layers, the appearance of multinucleated giant cells, along with intense angiogenesis in the dermis. The results specify and compare the prooxidant and regenerative potential of Cu, Co and Zn-doped biodegradable cryogels and are of particular interest for the development of advanced bioinductive hydrogel materials for controlling angiogenesis and soft tissue growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioceramics, Bioglasses and Gels for Tissue Engineering)
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13 pages, 2623 KiB  
Communication
Additive Soft Matter Design by UV-Induced Polymer Hydrogel Inter-Crosslinking
by Talika A. Neuendorf, Niclas Weigel, Michelle Vigogne and Julian Thiele
Gels 2022, 8(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020117 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2452
Abstract
In recent years, stimuli-responsive hydrogels have gained tremendous interest in designing complex smart 4D materials for applications ranging from biomedicine to soft electronics that can change their properties on demand over time. However, at present, a hydrogel’s response is often induced by merely [...] Read more.
In recent years, stimuli-responsive hydrogels have gained tremendous interest in designing complex smart 4D materials for applications ranging from biomedicine to soft electronics that can change their properties on demand over time. However, at present, a hydrogel’s response is often induced by merely a single stimulus, restricting its broader applicability. The controlled hierarchical assembly of various hydrogel building blocks, each with a tailored set of mechanical and physicochemical properties as well as programmed stimulus response, may potentially enable the design and fabrication of multi-responsive polymer parts that process complex operations, like signal routing dependent on different stimuli. Since inter-connection stability of such building blocks directly accompanies the transmission of information across building blocks and is as important as the building property itself to create complex 4D materials, we provide a study on the utility of an inter-crosslinking mechanism based on UV-induced 2,3-dimethylmaleimide (DMMI) dimerization to inter-connect acrylamide-based and N-isopropylacrylamide-based millimeter-sized cubic building blocks, respectively. The resulting dual-crosslinked assemblies are freestanding and stable against contraction–expansion cycles in solution. In addition, the approach is also applicable for connecting microfluidically fabricated, micrometer-sized hydrogel spheres, with the resulting assemblies being processable and mechanical stable, likewise resisting contraction–expansion in different solvents, for instance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Horizons: From Science to Smart Materials)
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18 pages, 5503 KiB  
Article
Preparation of NLCs-Based Topical Erythromycin Gel: In Vitro Characterization and Antibacterial Assessment
by Ameeduzzafar Zafar, Syed Sarim Imam, Mohd Yasir, Nabil K. Alruwaili, Omar Awad Alsaidan, Musarrat Husain Warsi, Shehla Nasar Mir Najib Ullah, Sultan Alshehri and Mohammed M. Ghoneim
Gels 2022, 8(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020116 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2312
Abstract
In the present study, erythromycin (EM)-loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were prepared by the emulsification and ultra-sonication method. EM-NLCs were optimized by central composite design using the lipid (A), pluronic F127 (B) and sonication time (C) as independent variables. Their effects were evaluated [...] Read more.
In the present study, erythromycin (EM)-loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were prepared by the emulsification and ultra-sonication method. EM-NLCs were optimized by central composite design using the lipid (A), pluronic F127 (B) and sonication time (C) as independent variables. Their effects were evaluated on particle size (Y1) and entrapment efficiency (Y2). The optimized formulation (EM-NLCs-opt) showed a particle size of 169.6 ± 4.8 nm and entrapment efficiency of 81.7 ± 1.4%. EM-NLCs-opt further transformed into an in-situ gel system by using the carbopol 940 and chitosan blend as a gelling agent. The optimized EM-NLCs in situ gel (EM-NLCs-opt-IG4) showed quick gelation and were found to be stable for more than 24 h. EM-NLCs-opt-IG4 showed prolonged drug release compared to EM in situ gel. It also revealed significant high permeation (56.72%) and flux (1.51-fold) than EM in situ gel. The irritation and hydration study results depicted no damage to the goat cornea. HET-CAM results also confirmed its non-irritant potential (zero score). EM-NLCs-opt-IG4 was found to be isotonic and also showed significantly (p < 0.05) higher antimicrobial activity than EM in situ gel. The findings of the study concluded that NLCs laden in situ gel is an alternative delivery of erythromycin for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposomal and Ethosomal Gels: From Design to Application)
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23 pages, 5001 KiB  
Article
Novel Hydrogel Material with Tailored Internal Architecture Modified by “Bio” Amphiphilic Components—Design and Analysis by a Physico-Chemical Approach
by Richard Heger, Martin Kadlec, Monika Trudicova, Natalia Zinkovska, Jan Hajzler, Miloslav Pekar and Jiri Smilek
Gels 2022, 8(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020115 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2855
Abstract
Nowadays, hydrogels are found in many applications ranging from the industrial to the biological (e.g., tissue engineering, drug delivery systems, cosmetics, water treatment, and many more). According to the specific needs of individual applications, it is necessary to be able to modify the [...] Read more.
Nowadays, hydrogels are found in many applications ranging from the industrial to the biological (e.g., tissue engineering, drug delivery systems, cosmetics, water treatment, and many more). According to the specific needs of individual applications, it is necessary to be able to modify the properties of hydrogel materials, particularly the transport and mechanical properties related to their structure, which are crucial for the potential use of the hydrogels in modern material engineering. Therefore, the possibility of preparing hydrogel materials with tunable properties is a very real topic and is still being researched. A simple way to modify these properties is to alter the internal structure by adding another component. The addition of natural substances is convenient due to their biocompatibility and the possibility of biodegradation. Therefore, this work focused on hydrogels modified by a substance that is naturally found in the tissues of our body, namely lecithin. Hydrogels were prepared by different types of crosslinking (physical, ionic, and chemical). Their mechanical properties were monitored and these investigations were supplemented by drying and rehydration measurements, and supported by the morphological characterization of xerogels. With the addition of natural lecithin, it is possible to modify crucial properties of hydrogels such as porosity and mechanical properties, which will play a role in the final applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydrogels)
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14 pages, 1831 KiB  
Article
Injectable In Situ Gelling System for Sustained Nicotine Delivery as a Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation
by Eileen Hulambukie, Hani Abdeltawab, Sanjukta Duarah, Darren Svirskis and Manisha Sharma
Gels 2022, 8(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020114 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is widely used to limit the withdrawal symptoms associated with cigarette smoking cessation. However, the available NRT formulations are limited by their short release profiles, requiring frequent administrations along with local side effects. Thus, the objective of this study [...] Read more.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is widely used to limit the withdrawal symptoms associated with cigarette smoking cessation. However, the available NRT formulations are limited by their short release profiles, requiring frequent administrations along with local side effects. Thus, the objective of this study is to develop an NRT formulation that offers prolonged, sustained nicotine release. Thermoresponsive in situ gelling systems containing nicotine were prepared using poloxamer 407 (P407) and poloxamer 188 (P188). The system was optimized using a three-factor, two-level full factorial design (23). A formulation composed of P407 (20% w/w), P188 (5% w/w), and loaded with nicotine (0.5% w/w) exhibited sol-to-gel transition at a suitable temperature close to physiological temperature (30 °C). The rheological analysis demonstrated a Newtonian-like flow at room temperature, suggesting ease of administration via injection, and semisolid gel status at physiological temperature. The optimized formulation successfully sustained nicotine in vitro release over 5 days following single administration. The findings suggest that poloxamer based in situ gelling systems are promising platforms to sustain the release of nicotine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tough Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications 2.0)
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18 pages, 3113 KiB  
Article
Electrospun Chitosan Functionalized with C12, C14 or C16 Tails for Blood-Contacting Medical Devices
by Monica Dettin, Martina Roso, Grazia M. L. Messina, Giovanna Iucci, Valentina Peluso, Teresa Russo, Annj Zamuner, Marta Santi, Sabrina Milan Manani, Monica Zanella, Chiara Battocchio, Giovanni Marletta, Michele Modesti, Mario Rassu, Massimo De Cal and Claudio Ronco
Gels 2022, 8(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020113 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1653
Abstract
Medical applications stimulate the need for materials with broad potential. Chitosan, the partially deacetylated derivative of chitin, offers many interesting characteristics, such as biocompatibility and chemical derivatization possibility. In the present study, porous scaffolds composed of electrospun interwoven nanometric fibers are produced using [...] Read more.
Medical applications stimulate the need for materials with broad potential. Chitosan, the partially deacetylated derivative of chitin, offers many interesting characteristics, such as biocompatibility and chemical derivatization possibility. In the present study, porous scaffolds composed of electrospun interwoven nanometric fibers are produced using chitosan or chitosan functionalized with aliphatic chains of twelve, fourteen or sixteen methylene groups. The scaffolds were thoroughly characterized by SEM and XPS. The length of the aliphatic tail influenced the physico-chemical and dynamic mechanical properties of the functionalized chitosan. The electrospun membranes revealed no interaction of Gram+ or Gram− bacteria, resulting in neither antibacterial nor bactericidal, but constitutively sterile. The electrospun scaffolds demonstrated the absence of cytotoxicity, inflammation response, and eryptosis. These results open the door to their application for blood purification devices, hemodialysis membranes, and vascular grafts. Full article
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19 pages, 3901 KiB  
Review
Review of Microgels for Enhanced Oil Recovery: Properties and Cases of Application
by Yulia A. Rozhkova, Denis A. Burin, Sergey V. Galkin and Hongbin Yang
Gels 2022, 8(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020112 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2299
Abstract
In todays’ world, there is an increasing number of mature oil fields every year, a phenomenon that is leading to the development of more elegant enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies that are potentially effective for reservoir profile modification. The technology of conformance control [...] Read more.
In todays’ world, there is an increasing number of mature oil fields every year, a phenomenon that is leading to the development of more elegant enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies that are potentially effective for reservoir profile modification. The technology of conformance control using crosslinked microgels is one the newest trends that is gaining momentum every year. This is due to the simplicity of the treatment process and its management, as well as the guaranteed effect in the case of the correct well candidate selection. We identified the following varieties of microgels: microspheres, thermo- and pH-responsible microgels, thin fracture of preformed particle gels, colloidal dispersed gels. In this publication, we try to combine the available chemical aspects of microgel production with the practical features of their application at oil production facilities. The purpose of this publication is to gather available information about microgels (synthesis method, monomers) and to explore world experience in microgel application for enhanced oil recovery. This article will be of great benefit to specialists engaged in polymer technologies at the initial stage of microgel development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels)
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21 pages, 4444 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Evaluation of Chitosan/PVA Based Hydrogel Films Loaded with Honey for Wound Healing Application
by Hitesh Chopra, Shabana Bibi, Sandeep Kumar, Muhammad Saad Khan, Pradeep Kumar and Inderbir Singh
Gels 2022, 8(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020111 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 61 | Viewed by 8666
Abstract
In the present study, chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based honey hydrogel films were developed for potential wound healing application. The hydrogel films were developed by a solvent-casting method and were evaluated in terms of thickness, weight variation, folding endurance, moisture content and moisture uptake. The [...] Read more.
In the present study, chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based honey hydrogel films were developed for potential wound healing application. The hydrogel films were developed by a solvent-casting method and were evaluated in terms of thickness, weight variation, folding endurance, moisture content and moisture uptake. The water vapor transmission rate was found to range between 1650.50 ± 35.86 and 2698.65 ± 76.29 g/m2/day. The tensile strength and elongation at break were found to range between 4.74 ± 0.83 and 38.36 ± 5.39 N, and 30.58 ± 3.64 and 33.51 ± 2.47 mm, respectively, indicating significant mechanical properties of the films. SEM images indicated smooth surface morphology of the films. FTIR, DSC and in silico analysis were performed, which highlighted the docking energies of the protein–ligand complex and binding interactions such as hydrogen bonding, Pi–Pi bonding, and Pi–H bonding between the selected compounds and target proteins; hence, we concluded, with the three best molecules (lumichrome, galagin and chitosan), that there was wound healing potential. In vitro studies pointed toward a sustained release of honey from the films. The antimicrobial performance of the films was investigated against Staphylococcus aureus. Overall, the results signaled the potential application of chitosan/PVA based hydrogel films as wound dressings. Furthermore, in vivo experiments may be required to evaluate the clinical efficacy of honey-loaded chitosan/PVA hydrogel films in wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Hydrogels in Therapeutics and Theranostics Delivery)
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18 pages, 3677 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Composition, Pre-Treatment on the Mechanical and Acoustic Properties of Apple Gels and Freeze-Dried Materials
by Ewa Jakubczyk, Anna Kamińska-Dwórznicka and Ewa Ostrowska-Ligęza
Gels 2022, 8(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020110 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1523
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the effect of the addition of apple juice concentrate (AJC) on the properties of agar gel and dried materials. Agar gels with the addition of apple juice concentrate in the range of 5–20% were prepared with or without [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the effect of the addition of apple juice concentrate (AJC) on the properties of agar gel and dried materials. Agar gels with the addition of apple juice concentrate in the range of 5–20% were prepared with or without the addition of maltodextrin. The gels were also soaked in the solution of AJC. The water content, water activity, densities, some mechanical and acoustic descriptors of gels, and the freeze-dried gels were analysed. The porosity and shrinkage of dried products were also investigated. The addition of AJC significantly changed mechanical and acoustic properties of gels. The hardness of gels decreased with a higher addition of concentrate. Dried samples with a lower concentration of sugars (the lower addition of AJC) were characterised by lower shrinkage and higher porosity, as well as crispness and glass transition temperature. The investigated mechanical and acoustic properties of dried gels showed the addition of apple concentrate at the level of 5% to agar solution was optimal. Full article
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21 pages, 3181 KiB  
Review
Application of Alginate-Based Hydrogels in Hemostasis
by Yue Xie, Pan Gao, Fangfang He and Chun Zhang
Gels 2022, 8(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8020109 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 5415
Abstract
Hemorrhage, as a common trauma injury and clinical postoperative complication, may cause serious damage to the body, especially for patients with huge blood loss and coagulation dysfunction. Timely and effective hemostasis and avoidance of bleeding are of great significance for reducing body damage [...] Read more.
Hemorrhage, as a common trauma injury and clinical postoperative complication, may cause serious damage to the body, especially for patients with huge blood loss and coagulation dysfunction. Timely and effective hemostasis and avoidance of bleeding are of great significance for reducing body damage and improving the survival rate and quality of life of patients. Alginate is considered to be an excellent hemostatic polymer-based biomaterial due to its excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, non-immunogenicity, easy gelation and easy availability. In recent years, alginate hydrogels have been more and more widely used in the medical field, and a series of hemostatic related products have been developed such as medical dressings, hemostatic needles, transcatheter interventional embolization preparations, microneedles, injectable hydrogels, and hemostatic powders. The development and application prospects are extremely broad. This manuscript reviews the structure, properties and history of alginate, as well as the research progress of alginate hydrogels in clinical applications related to hemostasis. This review also discusses the current limitations and possible future development prospects of alginate hydrogels in hemostatic applications. Full article
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