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Fabrication of Konjac glucomannan-based composite hydrogel crosslinked by calcium hydroxide for promising lacrimal plugging purpose

Xu, Ningxia, Yang, Hua, Wei, Rong, Pan, Shiyin, Huang, Saipeng, Xiao, Xianghua, Wen, Huiyun, Xue, Weiming
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.127 pp. 440-449
Amorphophallus, animal models, calcium hydroxide, crosslinking, dry eye syndrome, eyes, humans, hydrogels, konjac mannan, polyvinyl alcohol, rabbits, sodium alginate, strength (mechanics), temperature
Swelling, mechanical strength, flexibility, and toughness are important parameters in hydrogel preparation for application in the human body. Herein, composite hydrogels were prepared using a mix of Konjac glucomannan (KGM), sodium alginate (SA), and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) cross-linked by calcium hydroxide. The PVA/KGM/SA composite hydrogel showed a suitable swelling ratio and rate, as well as elasticity and flexibility. In addition, the elongation at break was 660.3%, with a breaking strength of 87.25 kPa and a compression modulus of 1.660 MPa. Rheological studies showed that the composite hydrogel was composed of a multiply cross-linked network involving chemical and physical interactions, thereby affecting the elasticity and flexibility of the gel. Interestingly, the composite gel network was reformed when the temperature decreased. In rabbit models of dry eye, the hydrogel effectively maintained the normal tear meniscus height and increased the low tear meniscus area. The results therefore showed that the PVA/KGM/SA gels not only provide a simple, effective, and safe method for the preparation of hydrogels, but also have potential applications in the treatment of dry eye syndrome.