Polysaccharides are ubiquitous in nature; they serve fundamental roles in vivo and are used for a multitude of food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic biomaterials, and biomedical applications. Here, the structure-property function for low acetylated Gellan gum hydrogels induced by divalent ions was established by means of optical, rheological, and microscopic techniques. The hydrogels interacted with visible light as revealed by birefringence and multiple scattering, as a consequence of quaternary, supramolecular fibrillar structures. The molecular assembly and structure were elucidated by statistical analysis and polymer physics concepts applied to high-resolution AFM height images and further supported by FTIR. This revealed intramolecular coil-to-single helix transitions, followed by lateral aggregation of single helices into rigid, fibrillar quaternary structures, ultimately responsible for gelation of the system. Calcium and magnesium chloride were shown to lead to fibrils up to heights of 6.0 nm and persistence lengths of several micrometers. The change in molecular structure affected the macroscopic gel stiffness, with the plateau shear modulus reaching similar to 10(5) Pa. These results shed light on the two-step gelation mechanism of linear polysaccharides, their conformational molecular changes at the single polymer level and ultimately the macroscale properties of the ensued gels.

Rigid, Fibrillar Quaternary Structures Induced by Divalent Ions in a Carboxylated Linear Polysaccharide

Catalini, Sara;
2020

Abstract

Polysaccharides are ubiquitous in nature; they serve fundamental roles in vivo and are used for a multitude of food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic biomaterials, and biomedical applications. Here, the structure-property function for low acetylated Gellan gum hydrogels induced by divalent ions was established by means of optical, rheological, and microscopic techniques. The hydrogels interacted with visible light as revealed by birefringence and multiple scattering, as a consequence of quaternary, supramolecular fibrillar structures. The molecular assembly and structure were elucidated by statistical analysis and polymer physics concepts applied to high-resolution AFM height images and further supported by FTIR. This revealed intramolecular coil-to-single helix transitions, followed by lateral aggregation of single helices into rigid, fibrillar quaternary structures, ultimately responsible for gelation of the system. Calcium and magnesium chloride were shown to lead to fibrils up to heights of 6.0 nm and persistence lengths of several micrometers. The change in molecular structure affected the macroscopic gel stiffness, with the plateau shear modulus reaching similar to 10(5) Pa. These results shed light on the two-step gelation mechanism of linear polysaccharides, their conformational molecular changes at the single polymer level and ultimately the macroscale properties of the ensued gels.
2020
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1551775
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 6
  • Scopus 21
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 20
social impact