A broad library of chitosans was produced varying the molecular weight and the fraction of acetylated units, FA. The produced chitosans were used for the formation of wall-to-wall cylindrical gels through a controlled external gelation using tripolyphosphate (TPP) as cross-linker. The resulting gels were analyzed by rheometry. Viscosity average degree of polymerization (DPv¯) > 152 was shown to be required for the formation of stable gels. Both gel stiffness and gel rupture strength were proportional to the molecular weight regardless of the applied deformation. Increasing acetylation produced a marked reduction of the shear modulus, but, in parallel, switched the networks from rigid and brittle to weak and elastic. Intriguingly, gels made of chitosan with FA = 0.37 displayed notable elasticity, i.e. up to 90% of applied strain falls into linear regime. These findings suggest that the frequency of glucosamine (D unit) and N-acetyl-glucosamine (A unit) contribute to a subtle structure-property relationship in chitosan-TPP gels.

The role played by the molecular weight and acetylation degree in modualting the stiffness and elasticity of chitosan gels

Sacco, P.
;
Cok, M.;Asaro, F.;Paoletti, S.;Donati, I.
2018

Abstract

A broad library of chitosans was produced varying the molecular weight and the fraction of acetylated units, FA. The produced chitosans were used for the formation of wall-to-wall cylindrical gels through a controlled external gelation using tripolyphosphate (TPP) as cross-linker. The resulting gels were analyzed by rheometry. Viscosity average degree of polymerization (DPv¯) > 152 was shown to be required for the formation of stable gels. Both gel stiffness and gel rupture strength were proportional to the molecular weight regardless of the applied deformation. Increasing acetylation produced a marked reduction of the shear modulus, but, in parallel, switched the networks from rigid and brittle to weak and elastic. Intriguingly, gels made of chitosan with FA = 0.37 displayed notable elasticity, i.e. up to 90% of applied strain falls into linear regime. These findings suggest that the frequency of glucosamine (D unit) and N-acetyl-glucosamine (A unit) contribute to a subtle structure-property relationship in chitosan-TPP gels.
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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0144861718306027
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2929704
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