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Poly(ethylene glycol)‐interpenetrated genipin‐crosslinked chitosan hydrogels: Structure, pH responsiveness, gelation kinetics, and rheology

Lookup NU author(s): Nga Vo, Dr Lei HuangORCiD, Dr Henrique De Paula LemosORCiD, Emeritus Professor Andrew MellorORCiD, Dr Katarina Novakovic



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


In the development of pH‐responsive chitosan‐based hydrogels, achieving reproducible porosity and swelling behavior is essential for the design of hydrogel networks. Herein, we enhance the level of control in hydrogel microarchitecture by incorporating poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) into the chitosan–genipin matrix. Hydrogels, varied in composition, were synthesized under mild conditions (37°C, 1 atm, 24 hr), yielding microporous structures with a pore diameter ranging from 11 to 57 μm and an average cross‐sectional porosity of approximately 40–64%. Compared to chitosan–genipin hydrogels without PEG, presence of PEG in concentrations up to 1.9 mM generated the same effect as would increase in genipin content, yielding structures with a smaller pore diameter, a lower swelling degree in pH 2 buffer and a higher elastic modulus. Considering cost effectiveness and scale‐up, reducing genipin content by the addition of PEG is favorable. Importantly, hydrogel samples containing higher concentrations of PEG (2.9 mM and above) showed a sudden increase in the swelling degree accompanied with a decrease in the elastic modulus. Findings showcase the potential variation in the composition of these hydrogels has in yielding scaffolds with significantly different physico‐chemical behaviors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vo NTN, Huang L, De Paula Lemos H, Mellor A, Novakovic K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Polymer Science

Year: 2020

Volume: 137

Issue: 41

Print publication date: 05/11/2020

Online publication date: 20/03/2020

Acceptance date: 23/02/2020

Date deposited: 22/03/2020

ISSN (print): 0021-8995

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4628

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/app.49259


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