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Characterization of the microstructure of hydrazone crosslinked polysaccharide-based hydrogels through rheological and diffusion studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1066
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications
Early online date17 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Microstructure plays an essential role in the control of hydrogel properties. It is also an important factor when cells or drugs are encapsulated inside the hydrogel. In this work, the microstructures of hydrazone crosslinked hyaluronan-, alginate- and gellan gum-based hydrogels were evaluated thoroughly for the first time by using rheology- and diffusion (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, FRAP)-based methods. The effect of gel parameters on the viscoelastic and diffusion properties of hydrogels, and further on their structural parameters (mesh size, average molecular weight of the polymer chain between neighboring crosslinks, crosslinking density) are shown. Results further show that diffusivity decreased when larger dextran sizes were used, which were equivalent to the mesh sizes of hydrogels (15 nm to 47 nm) evaluated by the rheological method. This mesh size range allows the transportation of smaller molecules, but also peptides and most of the proteins. A correlation between the storage modulus and the structural parameters was also shown. Overall, hydrazone crosslinking offers an easy way to produce polysaccharide-based hydrogels with variable microstructures by altering the gel parameters.

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