Recent Advances in Double Network Gels

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Chemistry and Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 7923

Special Issue Editors

Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructure, Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Interests: soft materials; single molecule force spectroscopy; biomechanics; protein hydrogels
School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Interests: protein; peptide; hydrogel; single molecule; mechanical properties; self-assembly; force spectroscopy; biomaterials
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrogels contain large amounts of water, making them useful in biomaterial applications. However, their inherent softness prevents their direct use in load-bearing applications. By incorporating toughening mechanisms through the double-network concept, the mechanical properties of hydrogels have been greatly improved. Recently, an increasing number of microscopic mechanisms, such as doped fibers, magnetic particles, and electrostatic interaction, have been applied, while macroscopic mechanisms such as large-scale braiding or weaving, directional freezing and salting-out have gradually emerged. On the other hand, double-network hydrogels hold considerable promise in tissue engineering due to their efficient biocompatibility and high strength, so theoretical models, physicochemical properties, cell culture, and use in model animals of double-network hydrogel applied research is becoming much more popular.

We organize this Special Issue on “Recent Advances in Double-Network Gels” with the aim of summarizing the recent achievements in the toughening mechanism design, theoretical model research, functionalization and potential applications of double-network gels. We look forward to the submission of new results and reviews associated with double-network gels from experimental and theoretical perspectives.

Dr. Hai Lei
Dr. Yi Cao
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • tough hydrogels
  • double network
  • biomaterial applications
  • toughening mechanisms
  • macroscopic mechanisms
  • tissue engineering
  • adaptive hydrogel

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 3644 KiB  
Article
NaAlg-g-AA Hydrogels: Candidates in Sustainable Agriculture Applications
by Elena Manaila, Maria Demeter, Ion Cosmin Calina and Gabriela Craciun
Gels 2023, 9(4), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9040316 - 7 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
Nowadays, the degradation of agricultural soil due to various factors should be a major concern for everyone. In this study, a new sodium alginate-g-acrylic acid-based hydrogel was developed simultaneously by cross-linking and grafting with accelerated electrons to be used as soil remediation. The [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the degradation of agricultural soil due to various factors should be a major concern for everyone. In this study, a new sodium alginate-g-acrylic acid-based hydrogel was developed simultaneously by cross-linking and grafting with accelerated electrons to be used as soil remediation. The effect of irradiation dose and NaAlg contents on the gel fraction, network and structural parameters, sol–gel analysis, swelling power, and swelling kinetics of NaAlg-g-AA hydrogels have been investigated. It was demonstrated that NaAlg hydrogels show significative swelling power that is greatly dependent on their composition and irradiation dose; they keep the structure and are not degraded in different pH conditions and different water sources. Diffusion data revealed a non-Fickian transport mechanism (0.61–0.99) also specific to cross-linked hydrogels. The prepared hydrogels were proved as excellent candidates in sustainable agriculture applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Double Network Gels)
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16 pages, 4486 KiB  
Article
Amine Infused Fly Ash Grafted Acrylic Acid/Acrylamide Hydrogel for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Adsorption and Its Kinetic Analysis
by Siti Musliha Mat Ghani, Nurul Ekmi Rabat, Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim, Khairiraihanna Johari, Ahmer Ali Siyal and Rowin Kumeresen
Gels 2023, 9(3), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9030229 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
In most carbon dioxide (CO2) capture processes, chemical absorption using an amine solvent is widely used technology; however, the solvent is prone to solvent degradation and solvent loss which leads to the formation of corrosion. This paper investigates the adsorption performance [...] Read more.
In most carbon dioxide (CO2) capture processes, chemical absorption using an amine solvent is widely used technology; however, the solvent is prone to solvent degradation and solvent loss which leads to the formation of corrosion. This paper investigates the adsorption performance of amine-infused hydrogels (AIFHs) to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) capture by leveraging the potency of amine absorption and adsorption properties of class F fly ash (FA). The solution polymerization method was used to synthesize the FA-grafted acrylic acid/acrylamide hydrogel (FA-AAc/AAm), which was then immersed in monoethanolamine (MEA) to form amine infused hydrogels (AIHs). The prepared FA-AAc/AAm showed dense matrices morphology with no obvious pore at the dry state but capable of capturing up to 0.71 mol/g CO2 at 0.5 wt% FA content, 2 bar pressure, 30 °C reaction temperature, 60 L/min flow rate, and 30 wt% MEA contents. Cumulative adsorption capacity was calculated and Pseudo-first order kinetic model was used to investigate the CO2 adsorption kinetic at different parameters. Remarkably, this FA-AAc/AAm hydrogel is also capable of absorbing liquid activator that was 1000% more than its original weight. FA-AAc/AAm can be used as an alternative AIHs that employ FA waste to capture CO2 and minimize the GHG impact on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Double Network Gels)
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16 pages, 6217 KiB  
Article
Stronger Together. Poly(Styrene) Gels Reinforced by Soft Gellan Gum
by Dariya Getya and Ivan Gitsov
Gels 2022, 8(10), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8100607 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1533
Abstract
This study targets the synthesis of novel semi-interpenetrating networks and amphiphilic conetworks, where hydrophilic soft matter (Gellan Gum, GG) was combined with hydrophobic rigid poly(styrene), PSt. To achieve that, GG was chemically modified with 4-vinyl benzyl chloride to form a reactive macromonomer with [...] Read more.
This study targets the synthesis of novel semi-interpenetrating networks and amphiphilic conetworks, where hydrophilic soft matter (Gellan Gum, GG) was combined with hydrophobic rigid poly(styrene), PSt. To achieve that, GG was chemically modified with 4-vinyl benzyl chloride to form a reactive macromonomer with multiple double bonds. These double bonds were used in a copolymerization with styrene to initially form semi-interpenetrating networks (SIPNs) where linear PSt was intertwined within the GG-PSt conetwork. The interpenetrating linear PSt and unreacted styrene were extracted over 3 consecutive days with yields 18–24%. After the extraction, the resulting conetworks (yields 76–82%) were able to swell both in organic and aqueous media. Thermo-mechanical tests (thermal gravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and dynamic mechanical analysis) and rheology indicated that both SIPNs and conteworks had, in most cases, improved thermal and mechanical properties compared to pure poly(styrene) and pure GG gels. This crosslinking strategy proved that the reactive combination of a synthetic polymer and a bio-derived constituent would result in the formation of more sustainable materials with improved thermo-mechanical properties. The binding ability of the amphiphilic conetworks towards several organic dyes was high, showing that they could be used as potential materials in environmental clean-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Double Network Gels)
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Review

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21 pages, 2455 KiB  
Review
Double-Network Chitosan-Based Hydrogels with Improved Mechanical, Conductive, Antimicrobial, and Antibiofouling Properties
by Rahela Carpa, Anca Farkas, Cristina Dobrota and Anca Butiuc-Keul
Gels 2023, 9(4), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9040278 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2693
Abstract
In recent years, the antimicrobial activity of chitosan-based hydrogels has been at the forefront of research in wound healing and the prevention of medical device contamination. Anti-infective therapy is a serious challenge given the increasing prevalence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics as well [...] Read more.
In recent years, the antimicrobial activity of chitosan-based hydrogels has been at the forefront of research in wound healing and the prevention of medical device contamination. Anti-infective therapy is a serious challenge given the increasing prevalence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics as well as their ability to form biofilms. Unfortunately, hydrogel resistance and biocompatibility do not always meet the demands of biomedical applications. As a result, the development of double-network hydrogels could be a solution to these issues. This review discusses the most recent techniques for creating double-network chitosan-based hydrogels with improved structural and functional properties. The applications of these hydrogels are also discussed in terms of tissue recovery after injuries, wound infection prevention, and biofouling of medical devices and surfaces for pharmaceutical and medical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Double Network Gels)
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