Main content area

A simple mechanical agitation method to fabricate chitin nanogels directly from chitin solution and subsequent surface modification

Zhang, Jianwei, Wu, Ping, Zhao, Yanan, Xue, Shuai, Zhu, Xinyi, Tong, Jun, Zheng, Si, Chen, Yun, Shi, Xiaowen, Deng, Hongbing
Journal of materials chemistry B 2019 v.7 no.13 pp. 2226-2232
agitation, antibacterial properties, chitin, crosslinking, heat, hydrogels, mixing, nanoparticles, solvents, sustainable technology, toxicity, urea
The development of physical approaches and green technologies to construct novel chitin materials is essential for the exquisite utilization of the renewable and valuable resource of chitin. In the present study, chitin nanogels were simply fabricated from a chitin solution dissolved in 8% NaOH/4% urea aqueous solvent by high speed stirring. The mechanical stirring generated in situ heat that induced the regeneration of chitin chains and ensured good dispersion of the nanogels. The prepared nanogels were composed of spherical nanoparticles of size 20 to 30 nm with some aggregates. The formation of chitin nanogels was confirmed to be a physical process without using organic solvent or chemical crosslinking. Rheological tests revealed a shear thinning behavior of the nanogels and injectable hydrogels were developed accordingly. The chitin nanogels showed no toxicity to L929 cells and cell attachment on the surface of the nanogel was observed. Further, monodispersed cationic nanogels and anionic nanogels were facilely obtained by deacetylating and TEMPO-mediated oxidizing chitin nanogels, and demonstrated different antibacterial properties.