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Coating typologies and constrained swelling of hyaluronic acid gels within scaffold pores

Arnal-Pastor, M., Vallés-Lluch, A., Keicher, M., Pradas, M. Monleón
Journal of colloid and interface science 2011 v.361 no.1 pp. 361-369
coatings, gels, hyaluronic acid, leaching, porosity, scanning electron microscopy, water vapor
A set of elastomeric scaffolds with a well defined porous structure was prepared with a template leaching procedure and coated with hyaluronic acid solutions. Depending on the coating process parameters the hyaluronic acid deposited on the pores had configurations ranging from thin disconnected aggregates to a thick continuous layer on the pore surface. The development of the coating layer was studied by scanning electron microscopy and the materials were subjected to dynamical and equilibrium swelling experiments in a water vapor ambient of fixed activity. The porosity change due to coating and to swelling of the coating layer were determined. The hyaluronic acid coating the pores has a different swelling capacity depending on the type of layer formed, as a consequence of the scaffold constraint and of the layer typology. These factors were investigated analytically by modifying the standard theory of gel swelling. An experimental quantity is introduced which reflects the constrainment build-up on gel swelling.