Dissolvable metallohydrogels for controlled release: evidence of a kinetic supramolecular gel phase intermediate†
Two metallohydrogels based on an amino acid-based ligand and Zn(II) salts were synthesized. These hydrogels show an uncommon, reversible, time-dependent transformation from the opaque to transparent state. These hydrogels also exhibit gradual dissolution in water (pH ≤ 7) over time. A water-soluble stimulant, caffeine, could be in situ loaded into the hydrogels and slowly released during dissolution.