Developing synthetic materials able to mimic micro- and macrorheological properties of natural networks opens up to novel applications and concepts in materials science. The present contribution describes an active network based on a semi-synthetic polymer, a lactitol-bearing chitosan derivative (Chitlac), and a transient inorganic cross-linker, boric acid. Due to the many and diverse anchoring points for boric acid on the flanking groups of Chitlac, the cross-links constantly break and reform in a highly dynamic fashion. The consequence is a network with unusual non-equilibrium and mechanical properties closely resembling the rheological behavior of natural three-dimensional arrangements and of cytoskeleton. Concepts like network nucleation, reorganization and disassembly are declined in terms of amount of the cross-linker, which acts as a putative motor for remodeling of the network upon application of energy. The out-of-equilibrium and non-linear behavior render the semi-synthetic system of great interest for tissue engineering and for developing in-vitro mimics of natural active matrices.

Nucleation, reorganization and disassembly of an active network from lactose-modified chitosan mimicking biological matrices

Furlani, Franco;Sacco, Pasquale;Scognamiglio, Francesca;Asaro, Fioretta;Travan, Andrea;Borgogna, Massimiliano;Marsich, Eleonora;Cok, Michela;Paoletti, Sergio;Donati, Ivan
2019

Abstract

Developing synthetic materials able to mimic micro- and macrorheological properties of natural networks opens up to novel applications and concepts in materials science. The present contribution describes an active network based on a semi-synthetic polymer, a lactitol-bearing chitosan derivative (Chitlac), and a transient inorganic cross-linker, boric acid. Due to the many and diverse anchoring points for boric acid on the flanking groups of Chitlac, the cross-links constantly break and reform in a highly dynamic fashion. The consequence is a network with unusual non-equilibrium and mechanical properties closely resembling the rheological behavior of natural three-dimensional arrangements and of cytoskeleton. Concepts like network nucleation, reorganization and disassembly are declined in terms of amount of the cross-linker, which acts as a putative motor for remodeling of the network upon application of energy. The out-of-equilibrium and non-linear behavior render the semi-synthetic system of great interest for tissue engineering and for developing in-vitro mimics of natural active matrices.
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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014486171831556X?via%3Dihub
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2934274
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