99,435 research outputs found

    Integrated 3D Hydrogel Waveguide Out-Coupler by Step-and-Repeat Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography: A Promising Sensor Device for Water and pH

    Get PDF
    Hydrogel materials offer many advantages for chemical and biological sensoring due to their response to a small change in their environment with a related change in volume. Several designs have been outlined in the literature in the specific field of hydrogel-based optical sensors, reporting a large number of steps for their fabrication. In this work we present a three-dimensional, hydrogel-based sensor the structure of which is fabricated in a single step using thermal nanoimprint lithography. The sensor is based on a waveguide with a grating readout section. A specific hydrogel formulation, based on a combination of PEGDMA (Poly(Ethylene Glycol DiMethAcrylate)), NIPAAm (N-IsoPropylAcrylAmide), and AA (Acrylic Acid), was developed. This stimulus-responsive hydrogel is sensitive to pH and to water. Moreover, the hydrogel has been modified to be suitable for fabrication by thermal nanoimprint lithography. Once stimulated, the hydrogel-based sensor changes its topography, which is characterised physically by AFM and SEM, and optically using a specific optical set-up

    Sorption and spatial distribution of protein globules in charged hydrogel particles

    Full text link
    We have theoretically studied the uptake of a non-uniformly charged biomolecule, suitable to represent a globular protein or a drug, by a charged hydrogel carrier in the presence of a 1:1 electrolyte. Based on the analysis of a physical interaction Hamiltonian including monopolar, dipolar and Born (self-energy) contributions derived from linear electrostatic theory of the unperturbed homogeneous hydrogel, we have identified five different sorption states of the system, from complete repulsion of the molecule to its full sorption deep inside the hydrogel, passing through meta- and stable surface adsorption states. The results are summarized in state diagrams that also explore the effects of varying the electrolyte concentration, the sign of the net electric charge of the biomolecule, and the role of including excluded-volume (steric) or hydrophobic biomolecule-hydrogel interactions. We show that the dipole moment of the biomolecule is a key parameter controlling the spatial distribution of the globules. In particular, biomolecules with a large dipole moment tend to be adsorbed at the external surface of the hydrogel, even if like-charged, whereas uniformly charged biomolecules tend to partition towards the internal core of an oppositely-charged hydrogel. Hydrophobic attraction shifts the states towards internal sorption of the biomolecule, whereas steric repulsion promotes surface adsorption for oppositely-charged biomolecules, or the total exclusion for likely-charged ones. Our results establish a guidance for the spatial partitioning of proteins and drugs in hydrogel carriers, tuneable by hydrogel charge, pH and salt concentration.Comment: 16 pages, 5 figure

    An ultra melt-resistant hydrogel from food grade carbohydrates

    Get PDF
    © 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry. We report a binary hydrogel system made from two food grade biopolymers, agar and methylcellulose (agar-MC), which does not require addition of salt for gelation to occur and has very unusual rheological and thermal properties. It is found that the storage modulus of the agar-MC hydrogel far exceeds those of hydrogels from the individual components. In addition, the agar-MC hydrogel has enhanced mechanical properties over the temperature range 25-85 °C and a maximum storage modulus at 55 °C when the concentration of methylcellulose was 0.75% w/v or higher. This is explained by a sol-gel phase transition of the methylcellulose upon heating as supported by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements. Above the melting point of agar, the storage modulus of agar-MC hydrogel decreases but is still an elastic hydrogel with mechanical properties dominated by the MC gelation. By varying the mixing ratio of the two polymers, agar and MC, it was possible to engineer a food grade hydrogel of controlled mechanical properties and thermal response. SEM imaging of flash-frozen and freeze-dried samples revealed that the agar-MC hydrogel contains two different types of heterogeneous regions of distinct microstructures. The latter was also tested for its stability towards heat treatment which showed that upon heating to temperatures above 120 °C its structure was retained without melting. The produced highly thermally stable hydrogel shows melt resistance which may find application in high temperature food processing and materials templating

    Rain water transport and storage in a model sandy soil with hydrogel particle additives

    Full text link
    We study rain water infiltration and drainage in a dry model sandy soil with superabsorbent hydrogel particle additives by measuring the mass of retained water for non-ponding rainfall using a self-built 3D laboratory set-up. In the pure model sandy soil, the retained water curve measurements indicate that instead of a stable horizontal wetting front that grows downward uniformly, a narrow fingered flow forms under the top layer of water-saturated soil. This rain water channelization phenomenon not only further reduces the available rain water in the plant root zone, but also affects the efficiency of soil additives, such as superabsorbent hydrogel particles. Our studies show that the shape of the retained water curve for a soil packing with hydrogel particle additives strongly depends on the location and the concentration of the hydrogel particles in the model sandy soil. By carefully choosing the particle size and distribution methods, we may use the swollen hydrogel particles to modify the soil pore structure, to clog or extend the water channels in sandy soils, or to build water reservoirs in the plant root zone

    Larval therapy for leg ulcers (VenUS II) : randomised controlled trial

    Get PDF
    Objective To compare the clinical effectiveness of larval therapy with a standard debridement technique (hydrogel) for sloughy or necrotic leg ulcers. Design Pragmatic, three armed randomised controlled trial. Setting Community nurse led services, hospital wards, and hospital outpatient leg ulcer clinics in urban and rural settings, United Kingdom. Participants 267 patients with at least one venous or mixed venous and arterial ulcer with at least 25% coverage of slough or necrotic tissue, and an ankle brachial pressure index of 0.6 or more. Interventions Loose larvae, bagged larvae, and hydrogel. Main outcome measures The primary outcome was time to healing of the largest eligible ulcer. Secondary outcomes were time to debridement, health related quality of life (SF-12), bacterial load, presence of meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, adverse events, and ulcer related pain (visual analogue scale, from 0 mm for no pain to 150 mm for worst pain imaginable). Results Time to healing was not significantly different between the loose or bagged larvae group and the hydrogel group (hazard ratio for healing using larvae v hydrogel 1.13, 95% confidence interval 0.76 to 1.68; P=0.54). Larval therapy significantly reduced the time to debridement (2.31, 1.65 to 3.2; P<0.001). Health related quality of life and change in bacterial load over time were not significantly different between the groups. 6.7% of participants had MRSA at baseline. No difference was found between larval therapy and hydrogel in their ability to eradicate MRSA by the end of the debridement phase (75% (9/12) v 50% (3/6); P=0.34), although this comparison was underpowered. Mean ulcer related pain scores were higher in either larvae group compared with hydrogel (mean difference in pain score: loose larvae v hydrogel 46.74 (95% confidence interval 32.44 to 61.04), P<0.001; bagged larvae v hydrogel 38.58 (23.46 to 53.70), P<0.001). Conclusions Larval therapy did not improve the rate of healing of sloughy or necrotic leg ulcers or reduce bacterial load compared with hydrogel but did significantly reduce the time to debridement and increase ulcer pain. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN55114812 and National Research Register N0484123692

    Understanding Three Hydration-Dependent Transitions of Zwitterionic Carboxybetaine Hydrogel by Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    Get PDF
    In this work, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to study a carboxybetaine methacrylate (CBMA) hydrogel under various swelling states. The water content in this study ranged from 28% to 91% of the total weight of the hydrogel. Three transitions of the CBMA hydrogel were observed as the water content increased. The first transition occurs when the water content increases from 33% to 37%. The observed kink in the self-diffusion coefficient of water indicates that the hydration of the polymer network of the hydrogel is saturated; the further added water is in a less confined state. The second transition was found to be related to the physical cross-links of the polymer network. As the water content rises to above 62%, the lifetime of the physical cross-links decreases significantly. This abrupt change in the lifetime indicates that the transition represents the equilibrium swelling state of the hydrogel. Finally, the third transition was observed when the water content goes above 81%. The significant increases in the bond and angle energies of the polymer network indicate that the hydrogel reaches its upper limit swelling state at this transition. These results are comparable to previously published experimental studies of similar zwitterionic hydrogels

    Patterning porosity in hydrogels by arresting phase separation

    Full text link
    Poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels have been used extensively in biological and tissue engineering, because of their outstanding biocompatibility and processability. However, it is not yet possible to process soft materials like PEG hydrogels with the requisite precision and throughput needed to recapitulate macroscopic biological tissue with control over every hierarchical scale. In this study, porous PEG hydrogels are processed by a phase separation method and patterned in a single photolithographic step. The thermodynamics of the temperature triggered spinodal decomposition of a ternary mixture of water, salt, and polymer are studied resulting in a ternary phase diagram and a spinodal temperature plot. Importantly, the state of porosity can be frozen by exposing the hydrogel to UV light to form a crosslinked hydrogel network. The average pore size can be tuned by changing delay between the application of heat and UV exposure. By utilizing grey-scale photomasks, a single process can be used to define regions of pure hydrogel, porous hydrogel with a programmed average pore size, and blank substrate with no hydrogel. In addition to representing a combination of a top-down and a bottom-up processes that enables the realization of complex samples, the simplicity of this process and the versatility of the resultant patterns could provide a useful capability for the definition of hydrogel samples for the development of advanced biomaterials

    Exploitation of a pH-sensitive hydrogel for CO2 detection

    Get PDF
    In this paper is described how hydrogel is exploited as sensor material for the \ud detection of carbon dioxide (CO2). A pH-sensitive hydrogel disc, which swells and deswells in response to pH changes, was clamped between a pressure sensor membrane and a porous metal screen together with a bicarbonate solution. Bicarbonate reacts with CO2 resulting in a pH change. The enclosed hydrogel will generate pressure as a response to the pH change. This pressure is a measure for the partial pressure of CO2. The main advantage of this sensor principle is the lack of a reference electrode as required for potentiometric sensors

    An Active and Soft Hydrogel Actuator to Stimulate Live Cell Clusters by Self-folding

    Get PDF
    The hydrogels are widely used in various applications, and their successful uses depend on controlling the mechanical properties. In this study, we present an advanced strategy to develop hydrogel actuator designed to stimulate live cell clusters by self-folding. The hydrogel actuator consisting of two layers with different expansion ratios were fabricated to have various curvatures in self-folding. The expansion ratio of the hydrogel tuned with the molecular weight and concentration of gel-forming polymers, and temperature-sensitive molecules in a controlled manner. As a result, the hydrogel actuator could stimulate live cell clusters by compression and tension repeatedly, in response to temperature. The cell clusters were compressed in the 0.7-fold decreases of the radius of curvature with 1.0 mm in room temperature, as compared to that of 1.4 mm in 37 degrees C. Interestingly, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) in MCF-7 tumor cells exposed by mechanical stimulation was expressed more than in those without stimulation. Overall, this new strategy to prepare the active and soft hydrogel actuator would be actively used in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and micro-scale actuators

    Fabrication of salt–hydrogel marbles and hollow-shell microcapsules by an aerosol gelation technique

    Get PDF
    We designed a new method for preparation of liquid marbles by using hydrophilic particles. Salt–hydrogel marbles were prepared by atomising droplets of hydrogel solution in a cold air column followed by rolling of the collected hydrogel microbeads in a bed of micrometre sized salt particles. Evaporation of the water from the resulting salt marbles with a hydrogel core yielded hollow-shell salt microcapsules. The method is not limited to hydrophilic particles and could potentially be also applied to particles of other materials, such as graphite, carbon black, silica and others. The structure and morphology of the salt–hydrogel marbles were analysed by SEM and their particle size distributions were measured. We also tested the dissolution times of the dried salt marbles and compared them with those of table salt samples under the same conditions. The high accessible surface area of the shell of salt microcrystals allows a faster initial release of salt from the hollow-shell salt capsules upon their dissolution in water than from the same amount of table salt. The results suggest that such hollow-shell particles could find applications as a table salt substitute in dry food products and salt seasoning formulations with reduced salt content without the loss of saltiness
    • …
    corecore