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Lookup NU author(s): Glenn Hurst,
Dr Katarina Novakovic
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The ability to manage the structural characteristics of smart hydrogels is crucial in the development of biomedical applications such as targeted drug delivery and tissue engineering. In this work, chitosan-poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) hydrogels crosslinked with genipin polymerised over different timescales were examined using fluorescence microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As genipin only exhibits fluorescent properties upon crosslinking, this can be used to deduce information on hydrogel morphology. Using this natural crosslinker eliminates the need to introduce a fluorescent marker that may alter the resulting hydrogel properties. From the results, it was observed that as polymerisation time is increased, fluorescence intensity also increases up to a point, followed by a slight decrease and final plateau. This observation was confirmed using SEM where generally, the size and number of pores decreased with increasing polymerisation time. Vast differences were found between critical point drying and freeze drying SEM sample preparation techniques. Freeze-dried samples maintained the native structural framework far better than critically point dried samples due to little network collapse, although both methods show differing structural features. It is advantageous to use a mixture of both preparatory techniques to characterise hydrogel structure to a greater extent. References : Chen, H.; Ouyang, W.; Lawuyi, B.; Prakash, S. Biomacromolecules 2006, 7, 2091.
Author(s): Hurst G, Novakovic K
Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Publication status: Published
Conference Name: Polymeric and Self-Assembled Hydrogels Meeting
Year of Conference: 2012