5 years ago

Compartmentalizing Supramolecular Hydrogels Using Aqueous Multi-phase Systems

Compartmentalizing Supramolecular Hydrogels Using Aqueous Multi-phase Systems
Jos M. Poolman, Rienk Eelkema, Alexandre G. L. Olive, Serhii Mytnyk, Eduardo Mendes, Frank Versluis, Jan H. van Esch
A generic method is used for compartmentalization of supramolecular hydrogels by using water-in-water emulsions based on aqueous multi-phase systems (AMPS). By forming the low-molecular-weight hydrogel throughout all phases of all-aqueous emulsions, distinct, micro-compartmentalized materials were created. This structuring approach offers control over the composition of each type of the compartments by directing the partitioning of objects to be encapsulated. Moreover, this method allows for barrier-less, dynamic exchange of even large hydrophilic solutes (MW≈60 kDa) between separate aqueous compartments. These features are expected to find use in the fields of, for instance, micro-structured catalysts, templating, and tissue engineering. Hydrogel compartments: A versatile approach is used to create aqueous microcompartments inside low-molecular-weight hydrogels using polymer phase separation. Distinct micrometer-sized domains are thus created with controlled composition and unrestricted exchange of even large polar solutes. The method may potentially find use for templating porous soft materials or in the fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201706272

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