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Synthesis of Functional Hydrogels

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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00565

Preparation and characterization of chitosan/β-glycerophosphate thermal-sensitive hydrogel reinforced by graphene oxide

 Xibo Pei1, 2*,  Han Qin2, Qianbing Wan2*, Jian Wang2 and Tong Wang2
  • 1Sichuan University, China
  • 2West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, China

Thermal-sensitive hydrogel based on chitosan (CS) and β-glycerophosphate (GP) has shown good biocompatibility and biodegradability. But the application of such hydrogel is limited due to its poor mechanical property. Recently, graphene oxide(GO) is widely used as a reinforcement agent to prepare nanocomposites with different polymers for improving the properties of the materials. In this study, CS/GP-based hydrogels with different weight ratio of GO/CS (0.5%, 1%, 2%) were fabricated. The gelation time of the hydrogels at body temperature was evaluated by tube inverting method. The gelation process during heating was monitored by rheological measurement. The morphology, porosities, chemical structure, swelling properties of the lyophilized hydrogels were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, liquid displacement method, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and gravimetric method. Mechanical property of the hydrogels was analyzed by rheological measurement and unconfined compression test. MC3T3-E1 mouse pre-osteoblast cell line was used to assess the biological properties of the hydrogels. The results obtained from those assessments revealed that the addition of GO into CS/GP improved the properties of the prepared hydrogels without changing the high porous and interconnected microstructure and swelling ability of the hydrogels. The gelation time at body temperature was significantly reduced by nearly 20% with the addition of small amount of GO (0.5% weight ratio of CS). The mechanical properties of the hydrogels containing GO were improved significantly over that of CS/GP. The storage (G′)/loss (G′′) moduli of the hydrogels with GO were 1.12 to 1.69 times that of CS/GP at the gelling temperature. The Young’s modulus of 0.5%GO/CS/GP hydrogel is 1.76 times that of CS/GP. Moreover, the 0.5%GO/CS/GP hydrogel revealed remarkable biological affinity such as cellular attachment, viability and proliferation. All of these results suggest that 0.5%GO/CS/GP hydrogel has great potential for practical application in biomedical field.

Keywords: Thermal-sensitive, Hydrogel, Chitosan, β-Glycerophosphate, graphene oxide

Received: 29 Aug 2018; Accepted: 31 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Baolin Guo, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China

Reviewed by:

Artur J. Valente, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Yaobin WU, Southern Medical University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Pei, Qin, Wan, Wang and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Xibo Pei, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, xbpei@hotmail.com
Prof. Qianbing Wan, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan Province, China, champion@scu.edu.cn