Drying affects the fiber network in low molecular weight hydrogels

Mears, L. L.E. et al. (2017) Drying affects the fiber network in low molecular weight hydrogels. Biomacromolecules, 18(11), pp. 3531-3540. (doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00823) (PMID:28631478) (PMCID:PMC5686561)

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Low molecular weight gels are formed by the self-assembly of a suitable small molecule gelator into a three-dimensional network of fibrous structures. The gel properties are determined by the fiber structures, the number and type of cross-links and the distribution of the fibers and cross-links in space. Probing these structures and cross-links is difficult. Many reports rely on microscopy of dried gels (xerogels), where the solvent is removed prior to imaging. The assumption is made that this has little effect on the structures, but it is not clear that this assumption is always (or ever) valid. Here, we use small angle neutron scattering (SANS) to probe low molecular weight hydrogels formed by the self-assembly of dipeptides. We compare scattering data for wet and dried gels, as well as following the drying process. We show that the assumption that drying does not affect the network is not always correct.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dietrich, Bart and Adams, Dave and Draper, Emily and Nolan, Mr Michael
Authors: Mears, L. L.E., Draper, E. R., Castilla, A. M., Su, H., Zhuola, Z., Dietrich, B., Nolan, M. C., Smith, G. N., Doutch, J., Rogers, S., Akhtar, R., Cui, H., and Adams, D. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Biomacromolecules
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):1526-4602
Published Online:20 June 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Biomacromolecules 18(11): 3531-3540
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
768041Multicomponent Supramolecular HydrogelsDave AdamsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L021978/2SCHOOL OF CHEMISTRY