Annealing supramolecular gels by a reaction relay

Panja, S. , Fuentes-Caparrós, A. M., Cross, E. R., Cavalcanti, L. and Adams, D. J. (2020) Annealing supramolecular gels by a reaction relay. Chemistry of Materials, 32(12), pp. 5264-5271. (doi: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c01483) (PMID:32595268)

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Supramolecular gels have potential in many areas. In many cases, a major drawback is that the gels are formed at a high rate. As a result, nonoptimal, kinetically trapped self-assembled structures are often formed, leading to gels that can be hard to reproduce and control. One method to get around kinetic trapping is annealing. Thermal annealing is one possibility, but it is not always desirable to heat the gels. Here, we describe a method to anneal pH-triggered gels after they are formed. We employ a reaction relay in a peptide-based hydrogel system to anneal the structures by a controlled and uniform pH change. Our method allows us to prepare gels with more controlled properties. We show that this can be used to enable homogeneous “molding and casting” of the hydrogels. This method of annealing is more effective in improving gel robustness than a conventional heat–cool cycle.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:SP thanks the Royal Society and SERB of India for a Newton International Fellowship. AMFC and ERC thank the University of Glasgow for funding. DA thanks the EPSRC for a Fellowship (EP/L021978/1). This work benefitted from SasView software, originally developed by the DANSE project under NSF award DMR-0520547.63 SasView also contains code developed with funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme, under the SINE2020 project Grant No. 654000. Experiments at ISIS Neu-tron and Muon Source were supported by a beamtime allocation RB1820004 from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Adams, Dave and Panja, Dr Santanu and Cross, Emily and Fuentes Caparros, Miss Ana Maria
Authors: Panja, S., Fuentes-Caparrós, A. M., Cross, E. R., Cavalcanti, L., and Adams, D. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Chemistry of Materials
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):1520-5002
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society
First Published:First published in Chemistry of Materials 32(12):5264–5271
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
174004Multicomponent Supramolecular HydrogelsDave AdamsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L021978/2Chemistry