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Structure-Property Relationship in Laponite Materials: From Wigner Glasses to Strong Self-Healing Hydrogels Formed by Non-Covalent Interactions

Abstract

Rheology, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), micro-FTIR and absorbance spectroscopy were used to enlighten the controversial literature about Laponite materials. Our data suggest that pristine Laponite in water does not form hydrogels induced by the so-called “house of cards” assembly, but rather forms Wigner glasses governed by repulsive forces. Ionic interactions between anisotropic Laponite nanodiscs, sodium polyacrylate and inorganic salts afforded hydrogels that are transparent, self-standing, moldable, strong, biocompatible with shear-thinning and self-healing behavior. An extensive study on the role of salts in the gelification process dictates a trend that relates the valence of cations with the viscoelastic properties of the bulk material (G’ values follow the trend monovalent < divalent < trivalent). These hydrogels present G’ values up to 5.1x104 Pa, which, are considered high values for non-covalent hydrogels. Hydrogels crosslinked with sodium phosphate salts are biocompatible, and might be valid candidates for injectable drug delivery systems due to their shear-thinning behavior with rapid self-healing after injection.

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Sep 2018, accepted on 08 Nov 2018 and first published on 08 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01965G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Structure-Property Relationship in Laponite Materials: From Wigner Glasses to Strong Self-Healing Hydrogels Formed by Non-Covalent Interactions

    T. B. Becher, C. B. Braga, D. L. Bertuzzi, M. D. Ramos Jr., A. Hassan, F. N. Crespilho and C. Ornelas, Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01965G

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