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Physical interactions strengthen chemical gelatin methacryloyl gels

: Rebers, Lisa; Granse, Tobias; Tovar, Günter; Southan, Alexander; Borchers, Kirsten

Volltext ()

Gels 5 (2019), Nr.1, Art. 4, 13 S.
ISSN: 2310-2861
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IGB ()
compression testing; physical and chemical network; hybrid network

Chemically cross-linkable gelatin methacryloyl (GM) derivatives are getting increasing attention regarding biomedical applications. Thus, thorough investigations are needed to achieve full understanding and control of the physico-chemical behavior of these promising biomaterials. We previously introduced gelatin methacryloyl acetyl (GMA) derivatives, which can be used to control physical network formation (solution viscosity, sol-gel transition) independently from chemical cross-linking by variation of the methacryloyl-to-acetyl ratio. It is known that temperature dependent physical network formation significantly influences the mechanical properties of chemically cross-linked GM hydrogels. We investigated the temperature sensitivity of GM derivatives with different degrees of modification (GM2, GM10), or similar degrees of modification but different methacryloyl contents (GM10, GM2A8). Rheological analysis showed that the low modified GM2 forms strong physical gels upon cooling while GM10 and GM2A8 form soft or no gels. Yet, compression testing revealed that all photo cross-linked GM(A) hydrogels were stronger if cooling was applied during hydrogel preparation. We suggest that the hydrophobic methacryloyl and acetyl residues disturb triple helix formation with increasing degree of modification, but additionally form hydrophobic structures, which facilitate chemical cross-linking.