Mechanical Properties of Ca-Saturated Hydrogels with Functionalized Alginate
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGels. 2019, 5 (2), 1-19. 10.3390/gels5020023
In this work, the mechanical properties and stability of alginate hydrogels containing functionalized alginates (peptide and β-cyclodextrin) were studied. There is an increasing interest in the modification of alginates to add functions such as cell attachment and increased solubility of hydrophobic drugs, for better performance in tissue engineering and drug release, respectively. Functionalization was achieved in this study via periodate oxidation followed by reductive amination, previously shown to give a high and controllable degree of substitution. Young’s modulus and the stress at rupture of the hydrogels were in general lowered when exchanging native alginate with the modified alginate. Still, the gel strength could be adjusted by the fraction of modified alginate in the mixed hydrogels as well as the degree of oxidation. No notable difference in deformation at rupture was observed while syneresis was influenced by the degree of oxidation and possibly by the nature and amount of the grafted molecules. The mixed hydrogels were less stable than hydrogels with only native alginate, and modified alginate was released from the hydrogels. Furthermore, the hydrogels in general rather disintegrated than swelled upon saline treatments.