Exploring the Kinetics of Gelation and Final Architecture of Enzymatically Cross-Linked Chitosan/Gelatin Gels

Marcelo A. Da Silva, Franziska Bode, Isabelle Grillo, Cécile A. Dreiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) was used to characterize the nanoscale structure of enzymatically cross-linked chitosan/gelatin hydrogels obtained from two protocols: a pure chemical cross-linking process (C), which uses the natural enzyme microbial transglutaminase, and a physical-co-chemical (PC) hybrid process, where covalent cross-linking is combined with the temperature-triggered gelation of gelatin, occurring through the formation of triple-helices. SANS measurements on the final and evolving networks provide a correlation length (ξ), which reflects the average size of expanding clusters. Their growth in PC gels is restricted by the triple-helices (ξ ∼ 10s of Å), while ξ in pure chemical gels increases with cross-linker concentration (∼100s of Å). In addition, the shear elastic modulus in PC gels is higher than in pure C gels. Our results thus demonstrate that gelatin triple helices provide a template to guide the cross-linking process; overall, this work provides important structural insight to improve the design of biopolymer-based gels. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1401-1409
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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