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Gels, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 67 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Remuiñan-Pose, García-González, Rial-Hermida, and coworkers demonstrate, for the first time, the improvement of the sphericity of vancomycin-loaded aerogel particles if both superhydrophobic surfaces and inkjet printing are used in combination. Due to their micrometric sizes, these aerogels are able to fit into chronic wounds with an exceptional capacity to swell and to adapt the defect shape. The sphericity of the drug-loaded aerogels, coupled with the high specific surface area and mesoporosity of the particles, resulted in efficient drug delivery systems. Finally, antimicrobial resistances could be avoided as the drug release is triggered by the presence of exudate in the wound area. View this paper
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Article
Creating a Functional Biomimetic Cartilage Implant Using Hydrogels Based on Methacrylated Chondroitin Sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid
Gels 2022, 8(7), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070457 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 407
Abstract
The load-bearing function of articular cartilage tissue contrasts with the poor load-bearing capacity of most soft hydrogels used for its regeneration. The present study explores whether a hydrogel based on the methacrylated natural polymers chondroitin sulfate (CSMA) and hyaluronic acid (HAMA), injected into [...] Read more.
The load-bearing function of articular cartilage tissue contrasts with the poor load-bearing capacity of most soft hydrogels used for its regeneration. The present study explores whether a hydrogel based on the methacrylated natural polymers chondroitin sulfate (CSMA) and hyaluronic acid (HAMA), injected into warp-knitted spacer fabrics, could be used to create a biomimetic construct with cartilage-like mechanical properties. The swelling ratio of the combined CSMA/HAMA hydrogels in the first 20 days was higher for hydrogels with a higher CSMA concentration, and these hydrogels also degraded quicker, whereas those with a 1.33 wt% of HAMA were stable for more than 120 days. When confined by a polyamide 6 (PA6) spacer fabric, the volumetric swelling of the combined CSMA/HAMA gels (10 wt%, 6.5 × CSMA:HAMA ratio) was reduced by ~53%. Both the apparent peak and the equilibrium modulus significantly increased in the PA6-restricted constructs compared to the free-swelling hydrogels after 28 days of swelling, and no significant differences in the moduli and time constant compared to native bovine cartilage were observed. Moreover, the cell viability in the CSMA/HAMA PA6 constructs was comparable to that in gelatin–methacrylamide (GelMA) PA6 constructs at one day after polymerization. These results suggest that using a HydroSpacer construct with an extracellular matrix (ECM)-like biopolymer-based hydrogel is a promising approach for mimicking the load-bearing properties of native cartilage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharide Gels and Beyond: From the Synthesis to Application)
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Article
Tamoxifen Citrate Containing Topical Nanoemulgel Prepared by Ultrasonication Technique: Formulation Design and In Vitro Evaluation
Gels 2022, 8(7), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070456 - 21 Jul 2022
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Abstract
The present study aims to design and develop a nanoemulgel formulation of Tamoxifen citrate (TAM), a water-insoluble, potent anticancer drug, using the spontaneous emulsification method to improve topical delivery, achieve high accumulation at the tumour site, and spare the healthy tissues. The oil-based [...] Read more.
The present study aims to design and develop a nanoemulgel formulation of Tamoxifen citrate (TAM), a water-insoluble, potent anticancer drug, using the spontaneous emulsification method to improve topical delivery, achieve high accumulation at the tumour site, and spare the healthy tissues. The oil-based selection was related to the TAM solubility, while the surfactant and co-surfactant were chosen based on the droplets’ thermodynamic stability and size. Afterwards, a pseudo-ternary phase diagram was built for the most promising formulation using two oils, olive and sesame, with a varied mix of Tween 40 as the surfactant and Trascutol HP as the co-surfactant (Smix), by the optimisation of experiments. The nanoemulsion (NE) formulations that were prepared were found to have an average droplet size of 41.77 ± 1.23 nm and 188.37 ± 3.53 nm, with suitable thermodynamic stability and physicochemical properties. Both olive and sesame oils are natural food additives due to their associated antioxidant effects; therefore, they showed no toxicity profile on breast cell lines (MCF-7, ATCC number HTB-22). The TAM-NE preparations revealed a prolonged and doublings superior cumulative percentage of in vitro release of TAM compared to TAM plain gel suspension over 24 h. The release data suggested that the Higuchi model was the best fitting kinetical model for the developed formulations of NE1, NE9, and NE18. The extended release of the drug as well as an acceptable amount of the drug permeated TAM via nanogel preparations suggested that nanoemulgel (NEG) is suitable for the topical delivery of TAM in breast cancer management. Thus, this work suggests that a nanogel of TAM can improve anticancer properties and reduce systemic adverse effects compared to a suspension preparation of TAM when applied in the treatment of breast cancer. Full article
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Article
Mechanical Characteristics and Self-Healing Soil-Cementitious Hydrogel Materials in Mine Backfill Using Hybridized ANFIS-SVM
Gels 2022, 8(7), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070455 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 285
Abstract
The compressive strength, shrinkage, elasticity, and electrical resistivity of the cement-soil pastes (slag, fly ash) of self-healing of cementitious concrete have been studied while adding hydrogels with nano silica (NSi) in this research. Defining the hydraulic and mechanical properties of these materials requires [...] Read more.
The compressive strength, shrinkage, elasticity, and electrical resistivity of the cement-soil pastes (slag, fly ash) of self-healing of cementitious concrete have been studied while adding hydrogels with nano silica (NSi) in this research. Defining the hydraulic and mechanical properties of these materials requires improvement to motivate more uptake for new buildings. Initially, examining the impact of different synthesized hydrogels on cement-soil pastes showed that solid particles in the mixtures highly affected the absorption capacity of NSi, representing the importance of direct interactions between solid particles and hydrogels in a cementitious matrix. All test results were analyzed by use of a hybridized soft computing model such as the adaptive neuro fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) and support vector regression (SVR) for precise studying and the avoidance of few empirical tests or error percentages. Subsequently, the best RMSE of ANFIS is 0.6568 and the best RMSE of SVM is 1.2564; the RMSE of ANFIS-SVM (0.5643) in the test phase is also close to zero, showing a better performance in hypothesizing self-healing soil-cementitious hydrogel materials in mine backfill. The R2 value for ANFIS-SVM is 0.9547, proving that it is a proper model for predicting the study’s goal. Electrical resistivity and compressive strength declined in the cement-soil pastes including hydrogels according to experimental outcomes; it was lowered by the increase of NSi concentration in the hydrogel. There was a decrement in the autogenous shrinkage of cement-soil pastes while adding hydrogel, depending on the NSi concentration in the hydrogels. The findings of this research are pivotal for the internal curing of cementitious materials to define the absorption of hydrogels. Full article
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Review
Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-Based Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications: A Review of the State-of-the-Art
Gels 2022, 8(7), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070454 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 471
Abstract
A prominent research topic in contemporary advanced functional materials science is the production of smart materials based on polymers that may independently adjust their physical and/or chemical characteristics when subjected to external stimuli. Smart hydrogels based on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) demonstrate distinct [...] Read more.
A prominent research topic in contemporary advanced functional materials science is the production of smart materials based on polymers that may independently adjust their physical and/or chemical characteristics when subjected to external stimuli. Smart hydrogels based on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) demonstrate distinct thermoresponsive features close to a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) that enhance their capability in various biomedical applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and wound dressings. Nevertheless, they have intrinsic shortcomings such as poor mechanical properties, limited loading capacity of actives, and poor biodegradability. Formulation of PNIPAM with diverse functional constituents to develop hydrogel composites is an efficient scheme to overcome these defects, which can significantly help for practicable application. This review reports on the latest developments in functional PNIPAM-based smart hydrogels for various biomedical applications. The first section describes the properties of PNIPAM-based hydrogels, followed by potential applications in diverse fields. Ultimately, this review summarizes the challenges and opportunities in this emerging area of research and development concerning this fascinating polymer-based system deep-rooted in chemistry and material science. Full article
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Article
Physicochemical, Textural, and Sensorial Properties of Soy Yogurt as Affected by Addition of Low Acyl Gellan Gum
Gels 2022, 8(7), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070453 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Soy yogurt is plant-based dairy of great nutritional interest that is widely accepted in developing countries as a milk alternative. Poor stability has been an urgent problem to solve of soy yogurt products over past several years. The present study aimed to construct [...] Read more.
Soy yogurt is plant-based dairy of great nutritional interest that is widely accepted in developing countries as a milk alternative. Poor stability has been an urgent problem to solve of soy yogurt products over past several years. The present study aimed to construct multiple network composite gel by adding low acyl gellan gum (LAG) to improve the stability. The effect of addition of LAG on property of soy yogurt was investigated by determining water holding capacity, texture, rheology, particle size, and zeta potential. The results showed that water holding capacity was significantly higher than control. The soy yogurt with 0.1% LAG had a stable gel network with much gel strength and viscosity, and strengthened interaction between complex gel. The addition of LAG increased the particle size and decreased zeta potential. Furthermore, sensory properties were acceptable. Therefore, during industrial production, LAG could act as an appropriate stabilizer to inhibit poor body and bring more desirable sensory characteristics of soy yogurt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Food Colloids)
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Article
Graphene Oxide/Polyethylenimine Aerogels for the Removal of Hg(II) from Water
Gels 2022, 8(7), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070452 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 326
Abstract
This article reports the synthesis of an aerogel involving reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and polyethylenimine (PEI), and describes its potential application as an effective sorbent to treat Hg(II) contaminated water. The rGO/PEI sorbent was synthetized using a supercritical CO2 method. N2 [...] Read more.
This article reports the synthesis of an aerogel involving reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and polyethylenimine (PEI), and describes its potential application as an effective sorbent to treat Hg(II) contaminated water. The rGO/PEI sorbent was synthetized using a supercritical CO2 method. N2 physisorption, electron microscopy, and elemental mapping were applied to visualize the meso/macroporous morphology formed by the supercritical drying. The advantages of the synthetized materials are highlighted with respect to the larger exposed GO surface for the PEI grafting of aerogels vs. cryogels, homogeneous distribution of the nitrogenated amino groups in the former and, finally, high Hg(II) sorption capacities. Sorption tests were performed starting from water solutions involving traces of Hg(II). Even though, the designed sorbent was able to eliminate almost all of the metal from the water phase, attaining in very short periods of time residual Hg(II) values as low as 3.5 µg L−1, which is close to the legal limits of drinking water of 1–2 µg L−1. rGO/PEI exhibited a remarkably high value for the maximum sorption capacity of Hg(II), in the order of 219 mg g−1. All of these factors indicate that the designed rGO/PEI aerogel can be considered as a promising candidate to treat Hg(II) contaminated wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research and Technological Advances on Aerogels)
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Article
The Synthesis, Properties, and Stability of Lithium-Containing Nanostructured Nickel-Doped Ceramics
Gels 2022, 8(7), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070451 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Lithium-containing ceramics have several great potential uses for tritium production, as well as its accumulation. However, their use is limited due to their poor resistance to external influences, mechanical pressure, and temperature changes. In this work, initial nanostructured ceramic powders were obtained using [...] Read more.
Lithium-containing ceramics have several great potential uses for tritium production, as well as its accumulation. However, their use is limited due to their poor resistance to external influences, mechanical pressure, and temperature changes. In this work, initial nanostructured ceramic powders were obtained using the sol-gel method, by mixing TiO2 and LiClO4·3H2O with the subsequent addition of NiO nanoparticles to the reaction mixture; these powders were subsequently subjected to thermal annealing at a temperature of 1000 °C for 10 h. Thermal annealing was used to initiate the phase transformation processes, and to remove structural distortions resulting from synthesis. During the study, it was found that the addition of NiO nanoparticles leads to the formation of solid solutions by a type of Li0.94Ni1.04Ti2.67O7 substitution, which leads to an increase in the crystallinity and structural ordering degree. At the same time, the grain sizes of the synthesized ceramics change their shape from rhomboid to spherical. During analysis of the strength characteristics, it was found that the formation of Li0.94Ni1.04Ti2.67O7 in the structure leads to an increase in hardness and crack resistance; this change is associated with dislocation. When analyzing changes in resistance to cracking, it was found that, during the formation of the Li0.94Ni1.04Ti2.67O7 phase in the structure and the subsequent displacement of the Li2TiO3 phase from the composition, the crack resistance increases by 15% and 37%, respectively, which indicates an increase in the resistance of ceramics to cracking and the formation of microcracks under external influences. This hardening and the reinforcing effect are associated with the replacement of lithium ions by nickel ions in the crystal lattice structure. Full article
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Article
Thermosensitive Hydrogels Loaded with Resveratrol Nanoemulsion: Formulation Optimization by Central Composite Design and Evaluation in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Gels 2022, 8(7), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070450 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 296
Abstract
The second most common cause of mortality among women is breast cancer. A variety of natural compounds have been demonstrated to be beneficial in the management of various malignancies. Resveratrol is a promising anticancer polyphenolic compound found in grapes, berries, etc. Nevertheless, its [...] Read more.
The second most common cause of mortality among women is breast cancer. A variety of natural compounds have been demonstrated to be beneficial in the management of various malignancies. Resveratrol is a promising anticancer polyphenolic compound found in grapes, berries, etc. Nevertheless, its low solubility, and hence its low bioavailability, restrict its therapeutic potential. Therefore, in our study, we developed a thermosensitive hydrogel formulation loaded with resveratrol nanoemulsion to enhance its bioavailability. Initially, resveratrol nanoemulsions were formulated and optimized utilizing a central composite-face-centered design. The independent variables for optimization were surfactant level, homogenization speed, and time, while the size and zeta potential were the dependent variables. The optimized nanoemulsion formulation was converted into a sensitive hydrogel using poloxamer 407. Rheological studies proved the formation of gel consistency at physiological temperature. Drug loading efficiency and in vitro drug release from gels were also analyzed. The drug release mechanisms from the gels were assessed using various mathematical models. The effect of the optimized thermosensitive resveratrol nanoemulsion hydrogel on the viability of human breast cancer cells was tested using MCF-7 cancer cell lines. The globule size of the selected formulation was 111.54 ± 4.16 nm, with a zeta potential of 40.96 ± 3.1 mV. Within 6 h, the in vitro release profile demonstrated a release rate of 80%. According to cell line studies, the produced hydrogel of resveratrol nanoemulsion was cytotoxic to breast cancer cells. Overall, the results proved the developed nanoemulsion-loaded thermosensitive hydrogel is a promising platform for the effective delivery of resveratrol for the management of breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Gels)
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Article
A New Compound Staged Gelling Acid Fracturing Method for Ultra-Deep Horizontal Wells
Gels 2022, 8(7), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070449 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Carbonate gas reservoirs in Sichuan are deeply buried, high temperature and strong heterogeneity. Staged acid fracturing is an effective means to improve production. Staged acidizing fracturing of ultra-deep horizontal wells faces the following problems: 1. Strong reservoir heterogeneity leads to the difficulty of [...] Read more.
Carbonate gas reservoirs in Sichuan are deeply buried, high temperature and strong heterogeneity. Staged acid fracturing is an effective means to improve production. Staged acidizing fracturing of ultra-deep horizontal wells faces the following problems: 1. Strong reservoir heterogeneity leads to the difficulty of fine segmentation; 2. The horizontal well section is long and running too many packers increases the completion risk; 3. Under high temperatures, the reaction speed between acid and rock is rapid and the acid action distance is short; and 4. The fracture conductivity is low under high-closure stress. In view of the above problems, the optimal fracture spacing is determined through productivity simulation. The composite temporary plugging of fibers and particles can increase the plugging layer pressure to 17.9 MPa, which can meet the requirements of the staged acid fracturing of horizontal wells. Through the gelling acid finger characteristic simulation and conductivity test, it is clear that the crosslinked authigenic acid and gelling acid in the Sichuan carbonate gas reservoir are injected alternately in three stages. When the proportion of gelling acid injected into a single section is 75% and the acid strength is 1.6 m3/m, the length and conductivity of acid corrosion fracture are the best. A total of 12 staged acid fracturing horizontal wells have been completed in the Sichuan carbonate gas reservoir, and the production is 2.1 times that of ordinary acid fracturing horizontal wells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Oil and Gas Industry Applications)
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Brief Report
Analysis of Stability, Rheological and Structural Properties of Oleogels Obtained from Peanut Oil Structured with Yellow Beeswax
Gels 2022, 8(7), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070448 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 307
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the macro- and microscopic properties of oleogels with yellow beeswax using different methods, especially modern optical techniques. Microrheological properties, physical stability and morphology of oleogel crystals obtained by structuring of peanut oil with yellow beeswax [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the macro- and microscopic properties of oleogels with yellow beeswax using different methods, especially modern optical techniques. Microrheological properties, physical stability and morphology of oleogel crystals obtained by structuring of peanut oil with yellow beeswax was analyzed. It was observed that oleogels, even with the smallest concentration of beeswax (2%), were resistant to centrifugal force. Increase in yellow beeswax concentration (from 2, 4, 6 to 8 %) resulted in significant differences in the characteristics of oleogels: increased elasticity (EI), macroscopic viscosity (MVI) and the firmness values of oleogels. It was concluded that non-invasive optical techniques (multi-speckle diffusing wave spectroscopy—Rheolaser Master) are useful in obtaining a quick evaluation of physical properties of oleogels at the microstructural level, and the received information allows for quality assessment. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Adsorption Efficiency of Graphene Oxide Hydrogels in Wastewater Dye Removal: Application of Principal Component Analysis
Gels 2022, 8(7), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070447 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Industrial dye wastewater is one of the major water pollution problems. Adsorbent materials are promising strategies for the removal of water dye contaminants. Herein, we provide a statistical and artificial intelligence study to evaluate the adsorption efficiency of graphene oxide-based hydrogels in wastewater [...] Read more.
Industrial dye wastewater is one of the major water pollution problems. Adsorbent materials are promising strategies for the removal of water dye contaminants. Herein, we provide a statistical and artificial intelligence study to evaluate the adsorption efficiency of graphene oxide-based hydrogels in wastewater dye removal by applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This study aims to assess the adsorption quality of 35 different hydrogels. We adopted different approaches and showed the pros and cons of each one of them. PCA showed that alginate graphene oxide-based hydrogel (without polyvinyl alcohol) had better tolerance in a basic medium and provided higher adsorption capacity. Polyvinyl alcohol sulfonated graphene oxide-based hydrogels are suitable when higher adsorbent doses are required. In conclusion, PCA represents a robust way to delineate factors affecting hydrogel selection for pollutant removal from aqueous solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Removal and Adsorption)
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Article
Enhanced Development of Sweat Latent Fingerprints Based on Ag-Loaded CMCS/PVA Composite Hydrogel Film by Electron Beam Radiation
Gels 2022, 8(7), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070446 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Over time, difficulties have been encountered in detecting potential fingerprints. In this study, an Ag/CMCS/PVA(ACP) hydrogel film was developed for fingerprint development by electron beam radiation method. The chemical bond, thermostability, chemical components, microstructure, and micromorphology of the CMCS/PVA composite hydrogel film were [...] Read more.
Over time, difficulties have been encountered in detecting potential fingerprints. In this study, an Ag/CMCS/PVA(ACP) hydrogel film was developed for fingerprint development by electron beam radiation method. The chemical bond, thermostability, chemical components, microstructure, and micromorphology of the CMCS/PVA composite hydrogel film were characterized by FT-IR, TG, XRD, and SEM, respectively. Swelling behaviors and mechanical performance of the CMCS/PVA composite hydrogel were also investigated at different irradiation doses, pH, media, and NaCl contents to obtain the optimum preparation conditions. Through experimental exploration, we found that the fingerprints appeared more obvious when the irradiated prepared ACP hydrogel film was sprayed with 0.6 mg/mL of Ag+ and the excitation wavelength was about 254 nm with UV lamp irradiation for 20 min. The cytotoxicity the CMCS/PVA composite hydrogel on mouse skin fibroblasts L929 cells was also studied, confirming its biological security. Sweat latent fingerprint manifestation has important scientific significance with respect to the development of new processes and functional materials in the field of fingerprint manifestation, enriching and complementing the application of composite hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (Volume II))
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Article
Food-Grade Bigels with Potential to Replace Saturated and Trans Fats in Cookies
Gels 2022, 8(7), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070445 - 17 Jul 2022
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Fats play multiple roles in determining the desirable characteristics of foods. However, there are health concerns about saturated and trans fats. Bigels have been proposed as a novel fat replacer in foods. This research evaluated the role of the type of hydrogel in [...] Read more.
Fats play multiple roles in determining the desirable characteristics of foods. However, there are health concerns about saturated and trans fats. Bigels have been proposed as a novel fat replacer in foods. This research evaluated the role of the type of hydrogel in the development of bigels to be used as fat replacers in cookies. Bigels were made with beeswax/canola oil oleogel and sodium alginate and carboxymethylcellulose hydrogels. The results showed that the peroxide value and binding capacity of bigels were affected by the type of hydrogel used. However, their fatty acid profile, p-anisidine value, oxidative stability, and texture remained unchanged. Using bigels as fat replacers, cookies were obtained with a hardness similar to those with original shortening, showing the potential of bigels for use in foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Oil Structuring)
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Communication
One-Step Generation of Alginate-Based Hydrogel Foams Using CO2 for Simultaneous Foaming and Gelation
Gels 2022, 8(7), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070444 - 16 Jul 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
The reliable generation of hydrogel foams remains a challenge in a wide range of sectors, including food, cosmetic, agricultural, and medical applications. Using the example of calcium alginate foams, we introduce a novel foam generation method that uses CO2 for the simultaneous [...] Read more.
The reliable generation of hydrogel foams remains a challenge in a wide range of sectors, including food, cosmetic, agricultural, and medical applications. Using the example of calcium alginate foams, we introduce a novel foam generation method that uses CO2 for the simultaneous foaming and pH reduction of the alginate solution to trigger gelation. We show that gelled foams of different gas fractions can be generated in a simple one-step process. We macroscopically follow the acidification using a pH-responsive indicator and investigate the role of CO2 in foam ageing via foam stability measurements. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of interfacial rheology to provide evidence for the gelation process initiated by the dissolution of the CO2 from the dispersed phase. Both approaches, gas-initiated gelation and interfacial rheology for its characterization, can be readily transferred to other types of gases and formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers-Based Emulsions and Hydrogels)
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Article
Ordered Mesoporous Silica Prepared in Different Solvent Conditions: Application for Cu(II) and Pb(II) Adsorption
Gels 2022, 8(7), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070443 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 287
Abstract
In this work, the synthesis of ordered mesoporous silica of MCM-41 type was investigated aimed at improving its morphology by varying the synthesis conditions in a one-pot process, employing different temperatures and solvent conditions. 2-methoxyethanol was used as co-solvent to ethanol. The co-solvent [...] Read more.
In this work, the synthesis of ordered mesoporous silica of MCM-41 type was investigated aimed at improving its morphology by varying the synthesis conditions in a one-pot process, employing different temperatures and solvent conditions. 2-methoxyethanol was used as co-solvent to ethanol. The co-solvent ratio and the synthesis temperature were varied. The pore morphology of the materials was characterized by nitrogen porosimetry and small angle neutron scattering (SANS), and the particle morphology by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and ultra-small angle neutron scattering (USANS). The thermal behavior was investigated by simultaneous thermogravimetry-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC) measurements. The SANS and N2 sorption results demonstrated that a well-ordered mesoporous structure was obtained at all conditions in the synthesis at room temperature. Addition of methoxyethanol led to an increase of the pore wall thickness. Simultaneously, an increase of methoxyethanol content led to lowering of the mean particle size from 300 to 230 nm, according to the ultra-small angle scattering data. The ordered porosity and high specific surfaces make these materials suitable for applications such as adsorbents in environmental remediation. Batch adsorption measurements of metal ion removal from aqueous solutions of Cu(II) and Pb(II) showed that the materials exhibit dominantly monolayer surface adsorption characteristics. The adsorption capacities were 9.7 mg/g for Cu(II) and 18.8 mg/g for Pb(II) at pH 5, making these materials competitive in performance to various composite materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Xerogels: From Design to Applications)
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Article
Molecular Simulation of Interactions between High-Molecular-Polymer Flocculation Gel for Oil-Based Drilling Fluid and Clay Minerals
Gels 2022, 8(7), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070442 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
China has abundant shale gas resources with great potential, which may serve as a significant support for the development of a “low-carbon economy”. Domestic shale gas resources are buried deeply and difficult to exploit due to some prevalent issues, such as long horizontal [...] Read more.
China has abundant shale gas resources with great potential, which may serve as a significant support for the development of a “low-carbon economy”. Domestic shale gas resources are buried deeply and difficult to exploit due to some prevalent issues, such as long horizontal sections, severe development of reservoir fractures, strong sensitivity to water, borehole instability, etc. Compared to water-based drilling fluids, oil-based drilling fluid exhibits better inhibition and good lubricity and is thus broadly used in shale gas drilling, but it is confronted with the challenge of removing the harmful solid phase. Selective chemical flocculation is one of the most effective methods of removing the harmful solid phase in oil-based drilling fluid. In this study, interactions between the flocculation gel for oil-based drilling fluid and clay minerals were investigated by molecular simulation, which revealed the molecular-scale selectivity of the flocculation gel for rock cuttings with negative charges. Calculations showed that the flocculation gel is highly effective for the flocculation of negatively charged cuttings, but it is ineffective for flocculating neutral cuttings. The flocculation gel is not very effective for cuttings with high hydrophilicity, and it is totally ineffective for flocculating cuttings with poor hydrophilicity. Within a limited concentration range, the flocculation effect can be enhanced by increasing the flocculation gel concentration. The performance of the flocculation gel declined at elevated temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Oil Drilling and Enhanced Recovery)
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Article
Smart Hydrogel Formed by Alginate-g-Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and Chitosan through Polyelectrolyte Complexation and Its Controlled Release Properties
Gels 2022, 8(7), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070441 - 14 Jul 2022
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Smart hydrogels that can respond to external stimuli such as temperature and pH have attracted tremendous interest for biological and biomedical applications. In this work, we synthesized two alginate-graft-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (Alg-g-PNIPAAm) copolymers and aimed to prepare smart hydrogels [...] Read more.
Smart hydrogels that can respond to external stimuli such as temperature and pH have attracted tremendous interest for biological and biomedical applications. In this work, we synthesized two alginate-graft-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (Alg-g-PNIPAAm) copolymers and aimed to prepare smart hydrogels through formation of polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) between the negatively charged Alg-g-PNIPAAm copolymers and the positively charged chitosan (Cts) in aqueous solutions. The hydrogels were expected to be able to respond to both temperature and pH changes due to the nature of Alg-g-PNIPAAm and chitosan. The hydrogel formation was determined by a test tube inverting method and confirmed by the rheological measurements. The rheological measurements showed that the PEC hydrogels formed at room temperature could be further enhanced by increasing temperature over the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of PNIPAAm, because PNIPAAm would change from hydrophilic to hydrophobic upon increasing temperature over its LCST, and the hydrophobic interaction between the PNIPAAm segments may act as additional physical crosslinking. The controlled release properties of the hydrogels were studied by using the organic dye rhodamine B (RB) as a model drug at different pH. The PEC hydrogels could sustain the RB release more efficiently at neutral pH. Both low pH and high pH weakened the PEC hydrogels, and resulted in less sustained release profiles. The release kinetics data were found to fit well to the Krosmyer–Peppas power law model. The analysis of the release kinetic parameters obtained by the modelling indicates that the release of RB from the PEC hydrogels followed mechanisms combining diffusion and dissolution of the hydrogels, but the release was mainly governed by diffusion with less dissolution at pH 7.4 when the PEC hydrogels were stronger and stabler than those at pH 5.0 and 10.0. Therefore, the PEC hydrogels are a kind of smart hydrogels holding great potential for drug delivery applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Gel Materials)
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Article
New Carbamates and Ureas: Comparative Ability to Gel Organic Solvents
Gels 2022, 8(7), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070440 - 14 Jul 2022
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Two series of novel amphiphilic compounds were synthesized based on carbamates and ureas structures, using a modification of the synthesis methods reported by bibliography. The compounds were tested for organic solvent removal in a model wastewater. The lipophilic group of all compounds was [...] Read more.
Two series of novel amphiphilic compounds were synthesized based on carbamates and ureas structures, using a modification of the synthesis methods reported by bibliography. The compounds were tested for organic solvent removal in a model wastewater. The lipophilic group of all compounds was a hexadecyl chain, while the hydrophilic substituent was changed with the same modifications in both series. The structures were confirmed by FT-IR, NMR, molecular dynamic simulation and HR-MS and their ability to gel organic solvents were compared. The SEM images showed the ureas had a greater ability to gel organic solvents than the carbamates and formed robust supramolecular networks, with surfaces of highly interwoven fibrillar spheres. The carbamates produced corrugated and smooth surfaces. The determination of the minimum gelation concentration demonstrated that a smaller quantity of the ureas (compared to the carbamates, measured as the weight percentage) was required to gel each solvent. This advantage of the ureas was attributed to their additional N-H bond, which is the only structural difference between the two types of compounds, and their structures were corroborated by molecular dynamic simulation. The formation of weak gels was demonstrated by rheological characterization, and they demonstrated to be good candidates for the removal organic solvents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Supramolecular Gels)
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Article
Phosphorylated Curdlan Gel/Polyvinyl Alcohol Electrospun Nanofibres Loaded with Clove Oil with Antibacterial Activity
Gels 2022, 8(7), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070439 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Fibrous membranes based on natural polymers obtained by the electrospinning technique are a great choice for wound dressings. In order to promote an efficient wound repair, and to avoid antibiotics, antibacterial plant extracts can be incorporated. In the present work, the new electrospun [...] Read more.
Fibrous membranes based on natural polymers obtained by the electrospinning technique are a great choice for wound dressings. In order to promote an efficient wound repair, and to avoid antibiotics, antibacterial plant extracts can be incorporated. In the present work, the new electrospun nanofibre membranes based on monobasic phosphate curdlan (PCurd) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) were obtained for the first time. To establish the adequate mixing ratio for electrospinning, the behaviour of the PCurd and PVA mixture was studied by viscometry and rheology. In order to confer antimicrobial activity with the nanofibre membrane, clove essential oil (CEO) was incorporated into the electrospun solution. Well-defined and drop-free nanofibres with a diameter between 157 nm and 110 nm were obtained. The presence of CEO in the obtained nanofibres was confirmed by ATR–FTIR spectroscopy, by the phenolic and flavonoid contents, and by the antioxidant activity of the membranes. In physiological conditions, CEO was released from the membrane after 24 h. The in vivo antimicrobial tests showed a good inhibitory activity against E. coli and higher activity against S. aureus. Furthermore, the viability cell test showed the lack of cytotoxicity of the nanofibre membrane with and without CEO, confirming its potential use in wound treatment. Full article
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Review
A Brief Evaluation of Pore Structure Determination for Bioaerogels
Gels 2022, 8(7), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070438 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 243
Abstract
This review discusses the most commonly employed methods for determining pore size and pore size distribution in bioaerogels. Aerogels are materials with high porosity and large surface areas. Most of their pores are in the range of mesopores, between 2 and 50 nm. [...] Read more.
This review discusses the most commonly employed methods for determining pore size and pore size distribution in bioaerogels. Aerogels are materials with high porosity and large surface areas. Most of their pores are in the range of mesopores, between 2 and 50 nm. They often have smaller or larger pores, which presents a significant challenge in determining the exact mean pore size and pore size distribution in such materials. The precision and actual value of the pore size are of considerable importance since pore size and pore size distribution are among the main properties of aerogels and are often directly connected with the final application of those materials. However, many recently published papers discuss or present pore size as one of the essential achievements despite the misinterpretation or the wrong assignments of pore size determination. This review will help future research and publications evaluate the pore size of aerogels more precisely and discuss it correctly. The study covers methods such as gas adsorption, from which BJH and DFT models are often used, SEM, mercury porosimetry, and thermoporometry. The methods are described, and the results obtained are discussed. The following paper shows that there is still no precise method for determining pore size distribution or mean pore size in aerogels until now. Knowing that, it is expected that this field will evolve in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Aerogels)
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Article
Chiral Supramolecular Hydrogel Loaded with Dimethyloxalyglycine to Accelerate Chronic Diabetic Wound Healing by Promoting Cell Proliferation and Angiogenesis
Gels 2022, 8(7), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070437 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Chronic refractory wounds are one of the most serious complications of diabetes, and the effects of common treatments are limited. Chiral hydrogel combined with dimethyloxalyglycine (DMOG) as a dressing is a promising strategy for the treatment of chronic wounds. In this research, we [...] Read more.
Chronic refractory wounds are one of the most serious complications of diabetes, and the effects of common treatments are limited. Chiral hydrogel combined with dimethyloxalyglycine (DMOG) as a dressing is a promising strategy for the treatment of chronic wounds. In this research, we have developed a DMOG-loaded supramolecular chiral amino-acid-derivative hydrogel for wound dressings for full-thickness skin regeneration of chronic wounds. The properties of the materials, the ability of sustained release drugs, and the ability to promote angiogenesis were tested in vitro, and the regeneration rate and repair ability of full-thickness skin were tested in vivo. The chiral hydrogel had the ability to release drugs slowly. It can effectively promote cell migration and angiogenesis in vitro, and promote full-thickness skin regeneration and angiogenesis in vivo. This work offers a new approach for repairing chronic wounds completely through a supramolecular chiral hydrogel loaded with DMOG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Injectable Gels: Applications in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering)
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Article
Study on Screening Criteria of Gel-Assisted Polymer and Surfactant Binary Combination Flooding after Water Flooding in Strong Edge Water Reservoirs: A Case of Jidong Oilfield
Gels 2022, 8(7), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070436 - 11 Jul 2022
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Strong edge water reservoirs have sufficient natural energy. After long-term natural water flooding development, it is in the stage of ultrahigh water cut. There is an urgent need to change the development mode and improve the development effect. Taking Jidong Oilfield as an [...] Read more.
Strong edge water reservoirs have sufficient natural energy. After long-term natural water flooding development, it is in the stage of ultrahigh water cut. There is an urgent need to change the development mode and improve the development effect. Taking Jidong Oilfield as an example, the mechanism model of strong edge water reservoirs is established by using the method of numerical simulation. Then, the factors and rules affecting the effects of gel-assisted polymer and surfactant binary combination flooding are studied. The screening criteria of gel-assisted polymer and surfactant binary combination flooding in strong edge water reservoirs are obtained. The results show that the existence of edge water is not conducive to binary combination flooding. Smaller water volumetric multiples and larger oil-bearing areas are more suitable for binary combination flooding. Compared with closed reservoirs, binary combination flooding in strong edge water reservoirs is more difficult to establish a displacement pressure gradient. The reservoir with high crude oil viscosity is not suitable for binary combination flooding. Gel-assisted polymer and surfactant binary combination flooding can be adopted for reservoirs with an oil-bearing area greater than 0.2 km2, a water volumetric multiple less than 200, and oil viscosity less than 100 mPa·s. The research results are of guiding significance for the reservoir selection of gel-assisted polymer and surfactant binary combination flooding after natural water flooding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Oil Drilling and Enhanced Recovery)
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Article
Preparation of Various Nanomaterials via Controlled Gelation of a Hydrophilic Polymer Bearing Metal-Coordination Units with Metal Ions
Gels 2022, 8(7), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070435 - 11 Jul 2022
Viewed by 300
Abstract
We investigated the gelation of a hydrophilic polymer with metal-coordination units (HPMC) and metal ions (PdII or AuIII). Gelation proceeded by addition of an HPMC solution in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) to a metal ion aqueous solution. An increase in the [...] Read more.
We investigated the gelation of a hydrophilic polymer with metal-coordination units (HPMC) and metal ions (PdII or AuIII). Gelation proceeded by addition of an HPMC solution in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) to a metal ion aqueous solution. An increase in the composition ratio of the metal-coordination units from 10 mol% to 34 mol% (HPMC-34) increased the cross-linking rate with AuIII. Cross-linking immediately occurred after dropwise addition of an HPMC-34 solution to the AuIII solution, generating the separation between the phases of HPMC-34 and AuIII. The cross-linking of AuIII proceeded from the surface to the inside of the HPMC-34 droplets, affording spherical gels. In contrast, a decrease in the ratio of metal-coordination units from 10 mol% to 4 mol% (HPMC-4) decreased the PdII cross-linking rate. The cross-linking occurred gradually and the gels extended to the bottom of the vessel, forming fibrous gels. On the basis of the mechanism for the formation of gels with different morphologies, the gelation of HPMC-34 and AuIII provided nanosheets via gelation at the interface between the AuIII solution and the HPMC-34 solution. The gelation of HPMC-4 and PdII afforded nanofibers by a facile method, i.e., dropwise addition of the HPMC-4 solution to the PdII solution. These results demonstrated that changing the composition ratio of the metal-coordination units in HPMC can control the gelation behavior, resulting in different types of nanomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels)
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Article
Antimicrobial and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Low-Energy Assisted Nanohydrogel of Azadirachta indica Oil
Gels 2022, 8(7), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070434 - 11 Jul 2022
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Plant-based bioactive compounds have been utilized to cure diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms and as a substitute to reduce the side effects of chemically synthesized drugs. Therefore, in the present study, Azadirachta indica oil nanohydrogel was prepared to be utilized as an alternate [...] Read more.
Plant-based bioactive compounds have been utilized to cure diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms and as a substitute to reduce the side effects of chemically synthesized drugs. Therefore, in the present study, Azadirachta indica oil nanohydrogel was prepared to be utilized as an alternate source of the antimicrobial compound. The total phenolic compound in Azadirachta indica oil was quantified by chromatography analysis and revealed gallic acid (0.0076 ppm), caffeic acid (0.077 ppm), and syringic acid (0.0129 ppm). Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of Azadirachta indica oil revealed the presence of bioactive components, namely hexadecenoic acid, heptadecanoic acid, ç-linolenic acid, 9-octadecanoic acid (Z)-methyl ester, methyl-8-methyl-nonanoate, eicosanoic acid, methyl ester, and 8-octadecane3-ethyl-5-(2 ethylbutyl). The nanohydrogel showed droplet size of 104.1 nm and −19.3 mV zeta potential. The nanohydrogel showed potential antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, E. coli, and C. albicans with minimum inhibitory, bactericidal, and fungicidal concentrations ranging from 6.25 to 3.125 (µg/mL). The nanohydrogel showed a significantly (p < 0.05) higher (8.40 log CFU/mL) value for Gram-negative bacteria E. coli compared to Gram-positive S. aureus (8.34 log CFU/mL), and in the case of pathogenic fungal strain C. albicans, there was a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in log CFU/mL value (7.79–6.94). The nanohydrogel showed 50.23–82.57% inhibition in comparison to standard diclofenac sodium (59.47–92.32%). In conclusion, Azadirachta indica oil nanohydrogel possesses great potential for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities and therefore can be used as an effective agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers-Based Emulsions and Hydrogels)
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Article
Gelling Behavior of PAM/Phenolic Crosslinked Gel and Its Profile Control in a Low-Temperature and High-Salinity Reservoir
Gels 2022, 8(7), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070433 - 11 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 337
Abstract
Gel conformance control technology is widely used in moderate and high temperature reservoirs. However, there are few studies on shallow low-temperature and high-salinity reservoirs. The difficulties are that it is difficult to crosslink at low temperatures and with poor stability at high salt [...] Read more.
Gel conformance control technology is widely used in moderate and high temperature reservoirs. However, there are few studies on shallow low-temperature and high-salinity reservoirs. The difficulties are that it is difficult to crosslink at low temperatures and with poor stability at high salt concentrations. Therefore, the PHRO gel was developed, which was composed of gelatinizing agent (polyacrylamide), crosslinking agents (hexamethylenetetramine and resorcinol) and crosslinking promoting agent (oxalic acid). The PHRO could form high-strength gels in both deionized water and high-concentration salinity solutions (NaCl, KCl, CaCl2 and MgCl2). The observation of the microstructure of PHRO gel shows that a strong “stem—leaf”-shaped three-dimensional network structure is formed in deionized water, and the network structure is still intact in high-concentration salt solution. The results show that PHRO has good salt resistance properties and is suitable for conformance control of low-temperature and high-salinity reservoirs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Oil and Gas Industry Applications)
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Review
Milk Protein-Based Nanohydrogels: Current Status and Applications
Gels 2022, 8(7), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070432 - 10 Jul 2022
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Milk proteins are excellent biomaterials for the modification and formulation of food structures as they have good nutritional value; are biodegradable and biocompatible; are regarded as safe for human consumption; possess valuable physical, chemical, and biological functionalities. Hydrogels are three-dimensional, cross-linked networks of [...] Read more.
Milk proteins are excellent biomaterials for the modification and formulation of food structures as they have good nutritional value; are biodegradable and biocompatible; are regarded as safe for human consumption; possess valuable physical, chemical, and biological functionalities. Hydrogels are three-dimensional, cross-linked networks of polymers capable of absorbing large amounts of water and biological fluids without dissolving and have attained great attraction from researchers due to their small size and high efficiency. Gelation is the primary technique used to synthesize milk protein nanohydrogels, whereas the denaturation, aggregation, and gelation of proteins are of specific significance toward assembling novel nanostructures such as nanohydrogels with various possible applications. These are synthesized by either chemical cross-linking achieved through covalent bonds or physical cross-linking via noncovalent bonds. Milk-protein-based gelling systems can play a variety of functions such as in food nutrition and health, food engineering and processing, and food safety. Therefore, this review highlights the method to prepare milk protein nanohydrogel and its diverse applications in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Food Gels)
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Review
Alginate-Based Composites for Corneal Regeneration: The Optimization of a Biomaterial to Overcome Its Limits
Gels 2022, 8(7), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070431 - 10 Jul 2022
Viewed by 385
Abstract
For many years, corneal transplantation has been the first-choice treatment for irreversible damage affecting the anterior part of the eye. However, the low number of cornea donors and cases of graft rejection highlighted the need to replace donor corneas with new biomaterials. Tissue [...] Read more.
For many years, corneal transplantation has been the first-choice treatment for irreversible damage affecting the anterior part of the eye. However, the low number of cornea donors and cases of graft rejection highlighted the need to replace donor corneas with new biomaterials. Tissue engineering plays a fundamental role in achieving this goal through challenging research into a construct that must reflect all the properties of the cornea that are essential to ensure correct vision. In this review, the anatomy and physiology of the cornea are described to point out the main roles of the corneal layers to be compensated and all the requirements expected from the material to be manufactured. Then, a deep investigation of alginate as a suitable alternative to donor tissue was conducted. Thanks to its adaptability, transparency and low immunogenicity, alginate has emerged as a promising candidate for the realization of bioengineered materials for corneal regeneration. Chemical modifications and the blending of alginate with other functional compounds allow the control of its mechanical, degradation and cell-proliferation features, enabling it to go beyond its limits, improving its functionality in the field of corneal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Hydrogel in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine)
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Article
Characterization of Dysphagia Thickeners Using Texture Analysis—What Information Can Be Useful?
Gels 2022, 8(7), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070430 - 09 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 321
Abstract
Besides shear viscosity, other texture parameters (adhesiveness or cohesiveness) might be relevant for safe swallowing in people suffering from oropharyngeal dysphagia. Shear viscosity is assessed through protocols developed using a viscometer or a rheometer. In contrast, protocols and instruments (capillary break-up rheometer) to [...] Read more.
Besides shear viscosity, other texture parameters (adhesiveness or cohesiveness) might be relevant for safe swallowing in people suffering from oropharyngeal dysphagia. Shear viscosity is assessed through protocols developed using a viscometer or a rheometer. In contrast, protocols and instruments (capillary break-up rheometer) to assess adhesiveness and cohesiveness are less common and much less developed. Other equipment such as texture analyzers can provide useful information on food properties. Here, we aimed to explore different texture analyzer settings (type of test, probe, and protocol) to characterize four commercial dysphagia thickeners at the shear viscosity levels recommended by manufacturers. Among the tests used (extrusion or penetration) with the different probes (disc, cone and shape holder, sphere, or cylinder), cone extrusion provided information about adhesivity, disc extrusion about sample cohesiveness, and sphere about penetration and sample elasticity. The test speeds used influenced the results, but only one speed is needed as the different speeds provided the same fluid information; for easiness, it is proposed to use 1 mm/s. Comparing the texture analyzer results with viscosity values obtained at different shears, the texture analyzer parameters reflected information that differ from shear viscosity. This information could be relevant for the therapeutic effect of thickening products and food characterization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Food Colloids)
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Article
Effect of Heat-Moisture Treatment on the Physicochemical Properties and Starch Digestibility of Mix Powder (Wheat Flour-Black Soybean Flour) and Corresponding Cookies
Gels 2022, 8(7), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070429 - 09 Jul 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
In order to improve the nutritional value and reduce starch the digestibility of black soybean cookies, superfine black soybean flour was modified by heat-moisture treatment (HMT). The physicochemical properties, structure analysis of the flour samples and corresponding dough, and nutritional, physical, and textural [...] Read more.
In order to improve the nutritional value and reduce starch the digestibility of black soybean cookies, superfine black soybean flour was modified by heat-moisture treatment (HMT). The physicochemical properties, structure analysis of the flour samples and corresponding dough, and nutritional, physical, and textural properties of the cookies were investigated. After HMT, the water and lactic acid retention capacity and the oil binding capacity of mix powder dramatically increased, being almost twice the value of the untreated sample. HMT increased gelatinization temperature by about 10 °C but decreased gelatinization enthalpy. HMT had no apparent effect on the morphology and size of granules, but some cracks and pores appeared on the HMT-mix powder granules and corresponding dough. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that the ordered structure of dough was unaffected during HMT. After HMT, the thickness, density, and baking loss of the cookies increased, and the spread ratio decreased. HMT dramatically increased the chemical score of cookies from 12.35% in mix powder cookies to 19.64% in HMT-mix powder cookies. HMT decreased the rapidly digestible starch content, while the slowly digestible starch increased from 45.97% in mix powder cookies to 49.31% in HMT-mix powder cookies, and RS increased from 21.64% to 26.87%. Overall, HMT did not have a negative effect on the processing properties and microstructure and secondary structure of the dough, or the physical properties and quality of the cookies, but significantly improved the nutritional properties and decreased the starch digestibility of the cookies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch and Food Hydrocolloids)
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Article
Evaluation of the Accessibility of Molecules in Hydrogels Using a Scale of Spin Probes
Gels 2022, 8(7), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070428 - 08 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 379
Abstract
In this work, we explored by means of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy the accessibility of a series of spin probes, covering a scale of molecular weights in the range of 200–60,000 Da, in a variety of hydrogels: covalent network, ionotropic, interpenetrating polymer [...] Read more.
In this work, we explored by means of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy the accessibility of a series of spin probes, covering a scale of molecular weights in the range of 200–60,000 Da, in a variety of hydrogels: covalent network, ionotropic, interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) and semi-IPN. The covalent gel network consists of polyethylene or polypropylene chains linked via isocyanate groups with cyclodextrin, and the ionotropic gel is generated by alginate in the presence of Ca2+ ions, whereas semi-IPN and IPN gel networks are generated in a solution of alginate and chitosan by adding crosslinking agents, Ca2+ for alginate and glutaraldehyde for chitosan. It was observed that the size of the diffusing species determines the ability of the gel to uptake them. Low molecular weight compounds can diffuse into the gel, but when the size of the probes increases, the gel cannot uptake them. Spin-labelled Pluronic F127 cannot be encapsulated by any covalent gel, whereas spin-labelled albumin can diffuse in alginate gels and in most of the IPN networks. The EPR spectra also evidenced the specific interactions of spin probes inside hydrogels. The results suggest that EPR spectroscopy can be an alternate method to evaluate the mesh size of gel systems and to provide information on local interactions inside gels. Full article
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