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Issue 11, 2018
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Bioinspired microstructures of chitosan hydrogel provide enhanced wear protection

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Abstract

We describe the fabrication of physical chitosan hydrogels exhibiting a layered structure. This bilayered structure, as shown by SEM and confocal microscopy, is composed of a thin dense superficial zone (SZ), covering a deeper zone (DZ) containing microchannels orientated perpendicularly to the SZ. We show that such structure favors diffusion of macromolecules within the hydrogel matrix up to a critical pressure, σc, above which channels were constricted. Moreover, we found that the SZ provided a higher wear resistance than the DZ which was severely damaged at a pressure equal to the elastic modulus of the gel. The coefficient of friction (CoF) of the SZ remained independent of the applied load with μSZ = 0.38 ± 0.02, while CoF measured at DZ exhibited two regimes: an initial CoF close to the value found on the SZ, and a CoF that decreased to μDZ = 0.18 ± 0.01 at pressures higher than the critical pressure σc. Overall, our results show that internal structuring is a promising avenue in controlling and improving the wear resistance of soft materials such as hydrogels.

Graphical abstract: Bioinspired microstructures of chitosan hydrogel provide enhanced wear protection

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jan 2018, accepted on 15 Feb 2018 and first published on 16 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00215K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 2068-2076
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    Bioinspired microstructures of chitosan hydrogel provide enhanced wear protection

    J. Faivre, G. Sudre, A. Montembault, S. Benayoun, X. Banquy, T. Delair and L. David, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 2068
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00215K

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