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The correlation between gelatin macroscale differences and nanoparticle properties: providing insight to biopolymer variability


From therapeutic delivery to sustainable packaging, manipulation of biopolymers into nanostructures, imparts biocompatibility into numerous materials with minimal environmental pollution during processing. While biopolymers are appealing natural based materials, the lack of nanoparticle (NP) physicochemical consistency has decreased their nanoscale translation into actual products. Insights regarding macroscale and nanoscale property variation of gelatin, one of the most common biopolymers already utilized in its bulk form, is presented. Novel correlations between macroscale and nanoscale properties were made by characterizing similar gelatin rigidities obtained from different manufacturers. Samples with significant differences in clarity, indicating sample purity, obtained the largest deviations in NP diameter. Furthermore, a statistically significant positive correlation between macroscale molecular weight dispersity and NP diameter was determined. New theoretical calculations proposing the limited number of gelatin chains that can aggregate and subsequently crosslinked for NP formation was presented as one possible reason to substantiate the correlation analysis. NP charge and crosslinking extent were also associated based on diameter. Lower gelatin sample molecular weight dispersities produced statistically smaller average diameters (<75 nm), higher average electrostatic charges (~30 mV) and crosslinking extents (~95%), which were independent of gelatin rigidity; conclusions not shown in literature. This study demonstrates the molecular weight composition of the starting material is one significant factor affecting gelatin nanoscale properties and must be characterized prior to NP preparation. Identifying gelatin macroscale and nanoscale correlations offers one route toward greater physicochemical property control and reproducibility of new NP formulations for industry translation.

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Feb 2018, accepted on 22 Apr 2018 and first published on 24 Apr 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR00970H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    The correlation between gelatin macroscale differences and nanoparticle properties: providing insight to biopolymer variability

    A. T. Stevenson, Jr, D. J. Jankus, M. A. Tarshis and A. R. Whittington, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR00970H

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