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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Portable Quartz Crystal Resonator Sensor for Characterising the Gelation Kinetics and Viscoelastic Properties of Hydrogels

Miranda-Martinez, Andres; Yan, Hongji; Silveira, Valentin; Javier Serrano-Olmedo, Jose; Crouzier, Thomas

Abstract

Hydrogel biomaterials have found use in various biomedical applications partly due to their biocompatibility and tuneable viscoelastic properties. The ideal rheological properties of hydrogels depend highly on the application and should be considered early in the design process. Rheometry is the most common method to study the viscoelastic properties of hydrogels. However, rheometers occupy much space and are costly instruments. On the other hand, quartz crystal resonators (QCRs) are devices that can be used as low-cost, small, and accurate sensors to measure the viscoelastic properties of fluids. For this reason, we explore the capabilities of a low-cost and compact QCR sensor to sense and characterise the gelation process of hydrogels while using a low sample amount and by sensing two different crosslink reactions: covalent bonds and divalent ions. The gelation of covalently crosslinked mucin hydrogels and physically crosslinked alginate hydrogels could be monitored using the sensor, clearly distinguishing the effect of several parameters affecting the viscoelastic properties of hydrogels, including crosslinking chemistry, polymer concentrations, and crosslinker concentrations. QCR sensors offer an economical and portable alternative method to characterise changes in a hydrogel material's viscous properties to contribute to this type of material design, thus providing a novel approach.

Keywords

covalently crosslinked hydrogels; hydrogel kinetics characterisation; physically crosslinked hydrogels; quartz crystal resonator

Published in

Gels
2022, volume: 8, number: 11, article number: 718
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Miranda-Martinez, Andres
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Yan, Hongji
Karolinska Institutet
Yan, Hongji
Royal Institute of Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Javier Serrano-Olmedo, Jose
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Crouzier, Thomas
Karolinska Institutet
Crouzier, Thomas
Royal Institute of Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Bio Materials

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8110718

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/119991