A carbohydrate-based hydrogel containing vesicles as responsive non-covalent cross-linkers†
In this edge article we report the preparation of a supramolecular carbohydrate hydrogel containing cyclodextrin vesicles as 3D junctions. A cellulose polymer is randomly modified with hydrophobic side groups that act as guests for the cyclodextrin hosts on the surface of the vesicles. Hence, the vesicles interconnect the polymer chains into a three-dimensional network and act as multivalent linkages. The resulting gel shows significant shear-thinning and self-healing properties, which make it highly suitable for applications that require injectability. Furthermore, SAXS and cryo-TEM measurements indicate that intact vesicles are present in the gel matrix.