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Green Reduced Graphene Oxide Toughened Semi-IPN Monolith Hydrogel as Dual Responsive Drug Release System: Rheological, Physicomechanical, and Electrical Evaluations B

Ganguly, Sayan, Das, Poushali, Maity, Priti Prasanna, Mondal, Subhadip, Ghosh, Sabyasachi, Dhara, Santanu, Das, Narayan Ch.
The Journal of physical chemistry 2018 v.122 no.29 pp. 7201-7218
biocompatibility, biocompatible materials, biodegradability, cell death, cell proliferation, drugs, electrical treatment, free radicals, gelation, graphene, graphene oxide, hydrogels, micro-computed tomography, modulus of elasticity, nanocomposites, pH, porosity, porous media, rheology
Macroporous hydrogel monoliths having tailor-made features, conductivity, superstretchability, excellent biocompatibility, and biodegradability, have become the most nurtured field of interest in soft biomaterials. Green method assisted reduced graphene oxide has been inserted by in situ free radical gelation into semi-IPN hydrogel matrix to fabricate conducting hydrogel. Mechanical toughness has been implemented for the graphene–polymer physisorption interactions with graphene basal planes. Moreover, the as-prepared 3D scaffold type monolith hydrogel has been rheologically superior regarding their high elastic modulus and delayed gel rupturing. κ-Carragenaan, one of the components of the hydrogel, has biodegradable nature. The most significant outcome is their low electrical percolation threshold and reversibly ductile nature. Reversible ductility provides them with rubber-like consistency in flow conditions. Surprising, the hydrogels showed dual stimuli-responsiveness, that is, environmental pH and external electrical stimulation. Electro-stimulation has been adopted here for the first time in semi-IPN systems, which could be an ideal alternative for iontopheretic devices and pulsatile drug release through skin. Regarding this, the hydrogel also has been passed to biocompatibility assay; they are noncytotoxic and show cell proliferation without negligible cell death in live–dead assay. The porosity of the nanocomposite scaffold-like gels was also analyzed by microcomputed tomography (μ-CT), which exhibited their connectivity in cell/voids inside the matrix. Thus, the experimentations are on the support of biocompatible soft material for dual-responsive tunable drug delivery.