Biohybrid glycopolymer capable of ionotropic gelation
Date of Issue2012
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Ionotropic gelation is particularly appealing for the formation of hydrogels because it takes place under mild conditions, is not thermoreversible, and does not involve toxic chemicals. A well-known example is the gelation of alginate in the presence of calcium ions, which is at the base of numerous applications involving this polymer. In this study, alginate-derived oligosaccharides were converted into acrylamide- and methacrylamide-type macromonomers in two steps without resorting to protective group chemistry. They were then copolymerized with 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylamide in aqueous solution to yield high molar mass biohybrid glycopolymers containing between 25 and 52% by mass of oligosaccharide graft chains. A comparative kinetic study showed that both acrylamide- and methacrylamide-type macromonomers reacted since the early stages of the copolymerization, but that the mole fraction in the polymer was smaller than in the feed up to 50–60% conversion and increased markedly afterward. This effect was slighter for the methacrylamide-type macromonomer though. Copolymers carrying oligosaccharide chains with 16–20 repeating units were synthesized and used for a gelation experiment: When dialyzed against CaCl2 0.5 mol L–1, the polymer carrying (1→4)-α-l-guluronan residues led to a soft isotropic self-standing transparent hydrogel, while the polymer carrying (1→4)-β-d-mannuronan residues gave a loose opaque gel. This study demonstrates that alginate-extracted oligosaccharides and aqueous radical polymerization can be combined for the flexible design of biohybrid glycopolymers capable of ionotropic gelation under very mild conditions.
DRNTU::Engineering::Manufacturing::Polymers and plastics
© 2012 American Chemical Society.