Alginate is a natural biopolymer that forms, in the presence of divalent cations, ionic-bound gels typifying a large class of biological gels stabilized by non-covalent cross-links, and displaying a consistent restructuring kinetics. We investigate the kinetics of formation and aging of alginate gels by slow permeation of a curing CaCl2 agent by means of photon correlation imaging, a novel optical technique that allows obtaining the microscopic dynamics of the sample, while retaining at the same time the spatial resolution of imaging techniques. Specifically, the gelling kinetics displays a peculiar non-diffusive behavior, and the subsequent restructuring of the gel structure shares several features in common with the aging of colloidal gels, in particular for what concerns the occurrence of heterogeneous dynamics effects. A comparative analysis of the gel macroscopic mechanical properties at different aging stages further highlights distinctive effects arising from the non-permanent nature of the bonds.

Biopolymer gels with "physical" cross-links: gelation kinetics, aging, heterogeneous dynamics, and macroscopic mechanical properties

SECCHI, ELEONORA;BUZZACCARO, STEFANO;PIAZZA, ROBERTO
2013

Abstract

Alginate is a natural biopolymer that forms, in the presence of divalent cations, ionic-bound gels typifying a large class of biological gels stabilized by non-covalent cross-links, and displaying a consistent restructuring kinetics. We investigate the kinetics of formation and aging of alginate gels by slow permeation of a curing CaCl2 agent by means of photon correlation imaging, a novel optical technique that allows obtaining the microscopic dynamics of the sample, while retaining at the same time the spatial resolution of imaging techniques. Specifically, the gelling kinetics displays a peculiar non-diffusive behavior, and the subsequent restructuring of the gel structure shares several features in common with the aging of colloidal gels, in particular for what concerns the occurrence of heterogeneous dynamics effects. A comparative analysis of the gel macroscopic mechanical properties at different aging stages further highlights distinctive effects arising from the non-permanent nature of the bonds.
COLLOIDAL GELS; LIGHT-SCATTERING; ALGINATE; STRETCHED-EXPONENTIAL RELAXATION
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/762429
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