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Data associated with 'Reaction Rate Governs the Viscoelasticity and Nanostructure of Folded Protein Hydrogels'

Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders (2020) Data associated with 'Reaction Rate Governs the Viscoelasticity and Nanostructure of Folded Protein Hydrogels'. University of Leeds. [Dataset]

Dataset description

Hydrogels constructed from folded protein domains are of increasing interest as resilient and responsive biomaterials, but their optimisation for applications requires time-consuming and costly molecular design. Here, we explore a complementary approach to control their properties by examining the influence of crosslinking rate on the structure and viscoelastic response of a model hydrogel constructed from photo-chemically crosslinked bovine serum albumin (BSA). Gelation is observed to follow a heterogeneous nucleation pathway in which BSA monomers crosslink into compact nuclei that grow into fractal percolated networks. Both the viscoelastic response probed by shear rheology and the nanostructure probed by small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) is shown to depend on the photochemical crosslinking reaction rate, with increased reaction rates corresponding to higher viscoelastic moduli, lower fractal dimension and higher fractal cluster size. Reaction rate dependent changes are shown to be consistent with a transition between diffusion- and rate- limited assembly and the corresponding changes to viscoelastic response are proposed to arise from the presence of non-fractal depletion regions, as confirmed by SAXS. This controllable nanostructure and viscoelasticity constitutes a potential route for the precise control of hydrogel properties, without the need for molecular modification.

Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences > School of Physics and Astronomy
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License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Date deposited: 22 Sep 2020 13:35




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