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Optimising low molecular weight hydrogels for automated 3D printing

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Abstract

Hydrogels prepared from low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) are formed as a result of hierarchical intermolecular interactions between gelators to form fibres, and then further interactions between the self-assembled fibres via physical entanglements, as well as potential branching points. These interactions can allow hydrogels to recover quickly after a high shear rate has been applied. There are currently limited design rules describing which types of morphology or rheological properties are required for a LMWG hydrogel to be used as an effective, printable gel. By preparing hydrogels with different types of fibrous network structures, we have been able to understand in more detail the morphological type which gives rise to a 3D-printable hydrogel using a range of techniques, including rheology, small angle scattering and microscopy.

Graphical abstract: Optimising low molecular weight hydrogels for automated 3D printing

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Aug 2017, accepted on 22 Oct 2017 and first published on 26 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01694H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Optimising low molecular weight hydrogels for automated 3D printing

    M. C. Nolan, A. M. Fuentes Caparrós, B. Dietrich, M. Barrow, E. R. Cross, M. Bleuel, S. M. King and D. J. Adams, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01694H

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