Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition)

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 December 2023) | Viewed by 13872

Special Issue Editor

1. Division of Molecular Science, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Gunma University, Gunma 376-8515, Japan
2. Gunma University Center for Food Science and Wellness, Gunma 371-8510, Japan
Interests: composite gels; small-angle scattering analysis; food gels; gel actuator
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Generally, polymer gels prepared by conventional methods are mechanically weak and brittle. To overcome their drawbacks, various composite gels have been developed. For example, the incorporation of nanofillers such as inorganic nanoparticles or nanofibers into polymer gels allows the enhancement of mechanical performance. Advanced composite gels exhibit unique properties, such as stimuli-responsive properties, self-healing, excellent electrochemical properties, as well as excellent mechanical properties. Composite gels with unique functionalities offer potential applications in various fields, such as electrochemistry, cosmetics, biomedical tissue engineering, sensors, drug delivery systems, and soft actuators. However, the fabrication of composite gels with desirable functionalities remains a challenging problem. 

This Special Issue focuses on recent research and advances in composite gels, such as polymer–inorganic composite gels, polymer–nanofiber composite gels, bio-based composite gels, and composite ion gels. Additionally, we welcome contributions regarding the structural analysis of composite gels, modeling, and simulation

Dr. Hiroyuki Takeno
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nanocomposite hydrogels
  • bio-based composite hydrogels
  • organic–inorganic composite hydrogels

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

12 pages, 4077 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Properties of Physical Gel on Medical Titanium Alloy Surface
Gels 2023, 9(7), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9070558 - 08 Jul 2023
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Medical titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V (TC4) has been widely used in the medical field, especially in human tissue repair. However, TC4 has some shortcomings, which may cause problems with biocompatibility and mechanical compatibility in direct contact with the human body. To solve this problem, [...] Read more.
Medical titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V (TC4) has been widely used in the medical field, especially in human tissue repair. However, TC4 has some shortcomings, which may cause problems with biocompatibility and mechanical compatibility in direct contact with the human body. To solve this problem, physical gels are formed on the surface of TC4, and the storage modulus of the formed physical gel matches that of the human soft tissue. 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide (BIBB) and dopamine (DA) were used to form initiators on the surface of hydroxylated medical titanium alloy. Different initiators were formed by changing the ratio of BIBB and DA, and the optimal one was selected for subsequent reactions. Under the action of the catalyst, L-lactide and D-lactide were ring-opened polymerized with hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), respectively, to form macromolecular monomers HEMA-PLLA29 and HEMA-PDLA29 with a polymerization degree of 29. The two macromolecular monomers were stereo-complexed by ultrasound to form HEMA-stereocomplex polylactic acid (HEMA-scPLA29). Based on two monomers, 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate (MEO2MA) and oligo (ethylene oxide) methacrylate (OEGMA), and the physical crosslinking agent HEMA-scPLA29, physical gels are formed on the surface of TC4 attached to the initiator via Atom Transfer Radical Addition Reaction (ATRP) technology. The hydrogels on the surface of titanium alloy were characterized and analyzed by a series of instruments. The results showed that the storage modulus of physical glue was within the range of the energy storage modulus of human soft tissue, which was conducive to improving the mechanical compatibility of titanium alloy and human soft tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

14 pages, 5036 KiB  
Article
Application of Red Onion Peel Extract for Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles in Hydrogels Exhibiting Antimicrobial Properties
Gels 2023, 9(6), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9060498 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1698
Abstract
UV-initiated green synthesis of metal nanoparticles by using plant extracts as photoreducing agents is of particular interest since it is an environmentally friendly, easy-to-maintain, and cost-effective method. Plant molecules that act as reducing agents are assembled in a highly controlled way which makes [...] Read more.
UV-initiated green synthesis of metal nanoparticles by using plant extracts as photoreducing agents is of particular interest since it is an environmentally friendly, easy-to-maintain, and cost-effective method. Plant molecules that act as reducing agents are assembled in a highly controlled way which makes them suitable for metal nanoparticle synthesis. Depending on the plant species, their application for green synthesis of metal nanoparticles for diverse applications may contribute to the mediation/reduction in organic waste amounts, thus enabling the implementation of the circular economy concept. In this work, UV-initiated green synthesis of Ag nanoparticles in hydrogels and hydrogel’s thin films containing gelatin (matrix), red onion peel extract of different concentrations, water, and a small amount of 1 M AgNO3 have been investigated and characterized using UV-Vis spectroscopy, SEM and EDS analysis, XRD technique, performing swelling experiments and antimicrobial tests using bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), yeasts (Candida parapsilosis, Candida albicans) and microscopic fungi (Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus). It was found that the antimicrobial effectiveness of the silver-enriched red onion peel extract–gelatin films was higher at lower AgNO3 concentrations as compared to those usually used in the commercially available antimicrobial products. The enhancement of the antimicrobial effectiveness was analyzed and discussed, assuming the synergy between photoreducing agent (red onion peel extract) and silver nitrate (AgNO3) in the initial gel solutions leading to the intensification of Ag nanoparticles production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 16353 KiB  
Article
Self-Assembling Peptide SCIBIOIII Hydrogel for Three-Dimensional Cell Culture That Promotes Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice
Gels 2023, 9(4), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9040265 - 23 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
An important clinical challenge is improving the healing rate of diabetic chronic wounds, and developing new approaches that can promote chronic wound healing is essential. A new biomaterial that has demonstrated great potential for tissue regeneration and repair is self-assembling peptides (SAPs); however, [...] Read more.
An important clinical challenge is improving the healing rate of diabetic chronic wounds, and developing new approaches that can promote chronic wound healing is essential. A new biomaterial that has demonstrated great potential for tissue regeneration and repair is self-assembling peptides (SAPs); however, they have been less studied for the treatment of diabetic wounds. Here, we explored the role of an SAP, SCIBIOIII, with a special nanofibrous structure mimicking the natural extracellular matrix for chronic diabetic wound repair. The results showed that the SCIBIOIII hydrogel in vitro has good biocompatibility and can create a three-dimensional (3D) culture microenvironment for the continuous growth of skin cells in a spherical state. The SCIBIOIII hydrogel in diabetic mice (in vivo) significantly improved wound closure, collagen deposition, and tissue remodeling and enhanced chronic wound angiogenesis. Thus, the SCIBIOIII hydrogel is a promising advanced biomaterial for 3D cell culture and diabetic wound tissue repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 3231 KiB  
Article
Geopolymer Composites—In Environmentally Friendly Aspects
Gels 2023, 9(3), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9030196 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1120
Abstract
In the present work, a new, low energy consumption sol–gel synthesis route has been developed for geopolymer composites. Instead of the typically published 0.1–1.0 Al/Si molar ratios, the efforts of this study concentrated on the realization of >2.5 Al/Si molar ratios in the [...] Read more.
In the present work, a new, low energy consumption sol–gel synthesis route has been developed for geopolymer composites. Instead of the typically published 0.1–1.0 Al/Si molar ratios, the efforts of this study concentrated on the realization of >2.5 Al/Si molar ratios in the composite systems. The higher Al molar ratio significantly improves the mechanical properties. A very important aim was also the recycling of industrial waste materials with attention to environmentally friendly requirements. The very dangerous, toxic red mud as a waste product of aluminum industrial fabrication was selected for reclamation. The structural investigation was carried out by 27Al MAS NMR, XRD, and thermal analysis. The structural examination has unambiguously proven the composite phases in both gel and solid systems. The characterization of composites was performed with mechanical strength and water solubility measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 5260 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Starch-Based Acid- and Alkali-Resistant Hydrogels Optimized by Box–Behnken Response Surface Methodology
Gels 2022, 8(9), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8090585 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1439
Abstract
Applying gel-type solid chlorine dioxide for the sustained release of chlorine dioxide has several shortcomings, such as no resistance to acid and alkali corrosion and poor mechanical properties. However, introducing quaternary ammonium, carboxyl, and amino groups into the hydrogel system can enhance its [...] Read more.
Applying gel-type solid chlorine dioxide for the sustained release of chlorine dioxide has several shortcomings, such as no resistance to acid and alkali corrosion and poor mechanical properties. However, introducing quaternary ammonium, carboxyl, and amino groups into the hydrogel system can enhance its acid and alkali resistance. In this study, the effects of concentration of dry heat-modified starch, quaternized carboxymethyl cellulose, and chitin on the swelling behavior and mechanical properties of starch-based acid- and alkali-resistant hydrogels are investigated. The feasibility of the actual and predicted values of the tentative results is verified based on the response surface design to determine the optimal concentration ratio of acid- and alkali-resistant hydrogels. The results reveal that optimized process parameters are reliable. The maximum swelling ratio and compressive stress of the hydrogel are 5358.00% and 44.45 kPa, respectively, and its swelling behavior conforms to the pseudo second-order kinetic model. Thus, the present study can provide a new method of developing efficient starch-based chlorine dioxide hydrogels for the sustained release of chlorine dioxide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2279 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Carbon Nanodots from Sugarcane Syrup, and Their Incorporation into a Hydrogel-Based Composite to Fabricate Innovative Fluorescent Microstructured Polymer Optical Fibers
Gels 2022, 8(9), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8090553 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
Carbon nanodots (CNDs) are interesting materials due to their intrinsic fluorescence, electron-transfer properties, and low toxicity. Here, we report a sustainable, cheap, and scalable methodology to obtain CNDs from sugarcane syrup using a domestic microwave oven. The CNDs were characterized by infrared spectroscopy, [...] Read more.
Carbon nanodots (CNDs) are interesting materials due to their intrinsic fluorescence, electron-transfer properties, and low toxicity. Here, we report a sustainable, cheap, and scalable methodology to obtain CNDs from sugarcane syrup using a domestic microwave oven. The CNDs were characterized by infrared spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy, absorption, and emission spectroscopies. The CNDs have 3 nm in diameter with low polydispersity and are fluorescent. A fluorescent hydrogel–CNDs composite was obtained using gelatin polypeptide as the polymeric matrix. The new hydrogel–CNDs composite was incorporated in the cavities of a double-clad optical fiber using an innovative approach that resulted in a microstructured polymer optical fiber with intrinsic fluorescence. This work shows a promising alternative for the fabrication of fluorescent materials since the CNDs synthesis is sustainable and environmentally friendly. These CNDs might substitute the rare-earth and other heavy metals of high cost and toxicity, which are usually incorporated in double-clad fibers for applications on lasers, amplifiers, and spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 3724 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Performance of Corn Starch/Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Composite Hydrogels Reinforced by Inorganic Nanoparticles and Cellulose Nanofibers
Gels 2022, 8(8), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8080514 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
We investigated the mechanical properties of corn starch (CS)/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/borax hydrogels reinforced by clay platelets, silica (SiO2) nanospheres, or cellulose nanofibers (CNFs). The effects of these reinforcing agents on the tensile properties of the hydrogels were quite different; the fracture [...] Read more.
We investigated the mechanical properties of corn starch (CS)/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/borax hydrogels reinforced by clay platelets, silica (SiO2) nanospheres, or cellulose nanofibers (CNFs). The effects of these reinforcing agents on the tensile properties of the hydrogels were quite different; the fracture stress of SiO2/CS/PVA/borax composite hydrogels increased with SiO2 concentration, whereas that of clay/CS/PVA/borax composite hydrogels was high at a low clay concentration but low at high clay concentrations; for CNF/CS/PVA/borax composite hydrogels, although the elastic modulus was highly enhanced by adding CNF, the fracture stress was very low because of the stress relaxation during the elongation. This result came from differences in the dispersibility of each filler and the reinforcing ability. These composite hydrogels were constructed by multi-crosslinking, such as hydrogen bonding between CS and PVA, CS and PVA crystals, complexation between borate and PVA (partly CS), and the crosslinking between each filler and polymer. The self-healing ability of SiO2 and clay composite hydrogels was examined. As a result, the SiO2/CS/PVA/borax composite hydrogels possessed an excellent self-healing ability, whereas the clay/CS/PVA/borax composite hydrogels had a poor self-healing ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 4937 KiB  
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
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1797
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 (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research

25 pages, 7993 KiB  
Review
Mesoporous Materials Make Hydrogels More Powerful in Biomedicine
Gels 2023, 9(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9030207 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
Scientists have been attempting to improve the properties of mesoporous materials and expand their application since the 1990s, and the combination with hydrogels, macromolecular biological materials, is one of the research focuses currently. Uniform mesoporous structure, high specific surface area, good biocompatibility, and [...] Read more.
Scientists have been attempting to improve the properties of mesoporous materials and expand their application since the 1990s, and the combination with hydrogels, macromolecular biological materials, is one of the research focuses currently. Uniform mesoporous structure, high specific surface area, good biocompatibility, and biodegradability make the combined use of mesoporous materials more suitable for the sustained release of loaded drugs than single hydrogels. As a joint result, they can achieve tumor targeting, tumor environment stimulation responsiveness, and multiple therapeutic platforms such as photothermal therapy and photodynamic therapy. Due to the photothermal conversion ability, mesoporous materials can significantly improve the antibacterial ability of hydrogels and offer a novel photocatalytic antibacterial mode. In bone repair systems, mesoporous materials remarkably strengthen the mineralization and mechanical properties of hydrogels, aside from being used as drug carriers to load and release various bioactivators to promote osteogenesis. In hemostasis, mesoporous materials greatly elevate the water absorption rate of hydrogels, enhance the mechanical strength of the blood clot, and dramatically shorten the bleeding time. As for wound healing and tissue regeneration, incorporating mesoporous materials can be promising for enhancing vessel formation and cell proliferation of hydrogels. In this paper, we introduce the classification and preparation methods of mesoporous material-loaded composite hydrogels and highlight the applications of composite hydrogels in drug delivery, tumor therapy, antibacterial treatment, osteogenesis, hemostasis, and wound healing. We also summarize the latest research progress and point out future research directions. After searching, no research reporting these contents was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Composite Gels (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop