Polysaccharide: Gelation Arts

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2024) | Viewed by 2959

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
“Ilie Murgulescu” Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Romanian Academy, 202 Splaiul Independentei, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: protein; polysaccharide gels; supramolecular chemistry; mesoporous materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polysaccharides represent a wide class of bio-macromolecules that can play a variety of functions determined by their structural characteristics. In particular, their biocompatibility makes them attractive for biomedical applications, the food industry, cosmetic industry, and water purification. Their common features are represented by the presence of hydrophilic functional groups, such as hydroxyl, carboxyl, and amino acids, and the rigidity of the polymeric chain. In consequence, many polysaccharides are soluble in water and in certain conditions can form hydrogels.

The gelation process is determined by the structural diversity of polysaccharides which arise from a variety of sugar units, the sequence of these units in the case of hetero-polysaccharides, their ability to be functionalized, etc. In many cases, polysaccharide gels are the resultant of non-covalent intra- and inter-molecular associations, involving hemiacetal oxygen, hydroxyl, or methyl groups of the sugar residues. Complexation by metal ions can also be a driving force to generate gel networks as in the case of alginate. Using a variety of crosslinking agents that can be chosen depending on the presence of functional groups in the polysaccharide structure, it is possible to generate new gel networks or, in the particular case of a mixture of two polysaccharides, interpenetrated networks. These networks can lead to the formation of new covalent bonds.

This Special Issue, entitled “Polysaccharide: Gelation Arts”, will focus on the  various aspects of the polysaccharide gelation process: monitoring the gelation process, capacity to entrap various species from low molecular weight to proteins or cells, physicochemical methods that can highlight special properties of polysaccharide gels, applications, and modulation of gel properties. Researchers investigating polysaccharide gelation processes are invited to publish their original results, reviews, or perspectives related to these topics.

Dr. Gabriela Ionita
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • polysaccharides
  • noncovalent polymer gelation
  • covalent crosslinking
  • noncovalent crosslinking
  • ipn and semi-ipn networks
  • viscoelastic properties of polysaccharide gels
  • biomaterials

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 7275 KiB  
Article
Gelation Behaviour of Pluronic F127/Polysaccharide Systems Revealed via Thioflavin T Fluorescence
by George-Alin Balan, Aurica Precupas and Iulia Matei
Gels 2023, 9(12), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9120939 - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1206
Abstract
Fast, reliable methods for characterizing the micelle-to-gel transition in emerging Pluronic F127/polysaccharide materials are essential for tailoring their applications as in situ gelling delivery systems. This study describes a simple fluorimetric method based on the response to gelation of the molecular probe thioflavin [...] Read more.
Fast, reliable methods for characterizing the micelle-to-gel transition in emerging Pluronic F127/polysaccharide materials are essential for tailoring their applications as in situ gelling delivery systems. This study describes a simple fluorimetric method based on the response to gelation of the molecular probe thioflavin T (ThT). The techniques employed are (second derivative) steady-state and synchronous fluorescence. The capabilities of ThT as gelation reporter are tested for three model systems: Pluronic F127 (P16.6%), Pluronic F127/alginate (P16.6%ALG2%) and Pluronic F127/hyaluronic acid (P16.6%HA0.5%). We demonstrate that the changes in the short and long wavelength emissions of ThT allow accurate determination of the critical gelation temperatures in the investigated systems. The spectroscopic data providing information at molecular level are complemented with differential scanning microcalorimetric results revealing additional macroscopic insight into the micellization process. The gelation study is preceded by a solvatochromic analysis of ThT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharide: Gelation Arts)
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Review

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12 pages, 2655 KiB  
Review
Hydrogelation from Self-Assembled and Scaled-Down Chitin Nanofibers by the Modification of Highly Polar Substituents
by Jun-ichi Kadokawa
Gels 2023, 9(6), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9060432 - 23 May 2023
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Chitin nanofibers (ChNFs) with a bundle structure were fabricated via regenerative self-assembly at the nanoscale from a chitin ion gel with an ionic liquid using methanol. Furthermore, the bundles were disentangled by partial deacetylation under alkaline conditions, followed by cationization and electrostatic repulsion [...] Read more.
Chitin nanofibers (ChNFs) with a bundle structure were fabricated via regenerative self-assembly at the nanoscale from a chitin ion gel with an ionic liquid using methanol. Furthermore, the bundles were disentangled by partial deacetylation under alkaline conditions, followed by cationization and electrostatic repulsion in aqueous acetic acid to obtain thinner nanofibers called scaled-down ChNFs. This review presents a method for hydrogelation from self-assembled and scaled-down ChNFs by modifying the highly polar substituents on ChNFs. The modification was carried out by the reaction of amino groups on ChNFs, which were generated by partial deacetylation, with reactive substituent candidates such as poly(2-oxazoline)s with electrophilic living propagating ends and mono- and oligosaccharides with hemiacetallic reducing ends. The substituents contributed to the formation of network structures from ChNFs in highly polar dispersed media, such as water, to produce hydrogels. Moreover, after the modification of the maltooligosaccharide primers on ChNFs, glucan phosphorylase-catalyzed enzymatic polymerization was performed from the primer chain ends to elongate the amylosic graft chains on ChNFs. The amylosic graft chains formed double helices between ChNFs, which acted as physical crosslinking points to construct network structures, giving rise to hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharide: Gelation Arts)
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