A cryogel is a cross-linked polymer network with different properties that are determined by its manufacturing technique. The formation of a cryogel occurs at low temperatures and results in a porous structure whose pore size is affected by thermal conditions. The adjustable pore sizes of cryogels make them attractive for diverse applications. In this study, the influence of the external operational temperature, which affects the cooling and freezing rates, on the production of cryogels with 2% w/w agarose is investigated. Moreover, a mathematical model is developed to simulate the cryogel production process and provide an initial estimate of the pore size within the structure. The predictions of the model, supported by qualitative light microscopy images, demonstrate that cryogels produced at higher process temperatures exhibit larger pore sizes. Moreover, the existence of pore size distribution within the gel structure is confirmed. Finally, stress relaxation tests, coupled with an image analysis, validates that cryogels produced at lower temperatures possess a higher stiffness and slower water release rates.

Agarose Cryogels: Production Process Modeling and Structural Characterization

Biasin A.;Cortesi A.;Grassi G.;Grassi M.;Abrami M.
2023-01-01

Abstract

A cryogel is a cross-linked polymer network with different properties that are determined by its manufacturing technique. The formation of a cryogel occurs at low temperatures and results in a porous structure whose pore size is affected by thermal conditions. The adjustable pore sizes of cryogels make them attractive for diverse applications. In this study, the influence of the external operational temperature, which affects the cooling and freezing rates, on the production of cryogels with 2% w/w agarose is investigated. Moreover, a mathematical model is developed to simulate the cryogel production process and provide an initial estimate of the pore size within the structure. The predictions of the model, supported by qualitative light microscopy images, demonstrate that cryogels produced at higher process temperatures exhibit larger pore sizes. Moreover, the existence of pore size distribution within the gel structure is confirmed. Finally, stress relaxation tests, coupled with an image analysis, validates that cryogels produced at lower temperatures possess a higher stiffness and slower water release rates.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3078318
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