Effect of pH on chitosan hydrogel polymer network structure

HC Xu and S Matysiak, CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS, 53, 7373-7376 (2017).

DOI: 10.1039/c7cc01826f

Chitosan is a molecule that can form water-filled 3D polymer networks with a wide range of applications. A new coarse-grained model for chitosan hydrogel was developed to explore its pH-dependent self- assembly behavior and mechanical properties. Our results indicate that the underlying polymer physical crosslinking pattern induced by solution pH has a significant effect on hydrogel elastic moduli. With this model, we obtain pH-dependent structural and mechanical property changes in agreement with experimental observations, and provide a molecular mechanism behind the changes in polymer crosslinking patterns.

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