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Cellulose

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 4531–4544 | Cite as

Thermo-sensitive chitosan–cellulose derivative hydrogels: swelling behaviour and morphologic studies

  • Sandra Cerqueira BarrosEmail author
  • Ana Alves da Silva
  • Diana Barbosa Costa
  • Ivana Cesarino
  • Carlos M. Costa
  • Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez
  • Agnieszka Pawlicka
  • Maria Manuela Silva
Original Paper

Abstract

Hydrogels are three-dimensional, hydrophilic, polymer networks that are able to imbibe large amounts of water or biological fluids, while maintaining their dimensional stability. The polymer binding might be achieved by chemical or physical interactions. Physical crosslinking of a polymer to form its hydrogel, might be accomplished either by casting-solvent evaporation (SC) method or by freeze–thaw (FT) technique. The physical hydrogels, especially the ones based on natural biopolymers, like polysaccharides, are being widely used in industry and medicine due to their favourable properties: biocompatibility; biodegradability; low toxicity and eco-friendly characteristics. Polysaccharides, like chitosan (CH) and (hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose (HPMC) have gained great attention due to its stimuli sensitive properties: pH and temperature responsiveness, respectively. Thus, within this work we have developed physically crosslinked CH:HPMC hydrogel films, using both SC and FT techniques. The attained CH:HPMC membranes were evaluated in terms of their swelling, thermal (low critical solution temperature—LCST), structural (attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) and morphological (scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy) properties. According to these results, the developed membranes exhibit a good miscibility between the two component biopolymers. Moreover, the CH:HPMC membranes exhibit a high swelling capacity (SWFT = 1,172 and SWSC = 7,323), a low surface roughness (Sq = 5.6–9.5 nm) and an elevated LCST (LCST = 85.2–87.5 °C). The stimuli sensitive behaviour makes hydrogels appealing for the design of smart devices applicable in a variety of technological fields. In our particular case, we envisage the application of such materials as active substances (moisturisers, antiperspirants and scents) delivers, into textile substrates in a controlled manner.

Keywords

Chitosan (Hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose Swelling LCST 

Abbreviations

CH

Chitosan

HPMC

(Hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose

FT

Freeze–thaw

SC

Solvent casting

CH:HPMC (X:Y), pH Z, FT/SC

Chitosan and (Hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose hydrogel, at X and Y proportion (0–100), at Z pH (3.0–4.0) and prepared by freeze–thaw or solvent casting techniques

MC

Methyl cellulose

SW

Swelling ratio

UV–Vis

Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy

SMHS

Solution that mimics the human sweat

FTIR–ATR

Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

LCST

Low critical solution temperature

CP

Cloud point

SEM

Scanning electron microscopy

AFM

Atomic force microscopy

Sq

Root mean square (RMS) height or RMS surface roughness)

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Chemistry and Physics Centres at Minho University (Pest-C/QUI/UI0686/2013 and PEST-C/FIS/UI607/2013) and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology for the Post-Doc and PhD grants ascribed to Sandra Cerqueira Barros (SFRH/BPD/85399/2012) and Carlos M. Costa (SFRH/BD/68499/2010), respectively. The authors are also indebted to CNPq, FAPESP and CAPES for the financial support given to this research. M. M. Silva acknowledges to CNPq, for the mobility grant provided by this institution. Lastly, we would like to thank Devan-Micropolis, S.A. for supplying the natural polymers chitosan (CH) and (hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose (HPMC) employed in this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Cerqueira Barros
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana Alves da Silva
    • 1
  • Diana Barbosa Costa
    • 1
  • Ivana Cesarino
    • 2
    • 4
  • Carlos M. Costa
    • 3
  • Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez
    • 3
  • Agnieszka Pawlicka
    • 4
  • Maria Manuela Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento/Centro de QuímicaUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências AgronômicasUNESP/FCABotucatuBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento/Centro de FísicaUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  4. 4.Instituto de Química de São CarlosUniversidade de São PauloSão CarlosBrazil

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