Nano-structural analysis of water distribution in hydrated multi-component gels using thermal and NMR relaxometry

Codoni, Doroty, Belton, Peter and Qi, Sheng (2015) Nano-structural analysis of water distribution in hydrated multi-component gels using thermal and NMR relaxometry. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 12 (6). pp. 2068-2079. ISSN 1543-8384

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Abstract

Highly complex, multicomponent gels and water-containing soft materials have varied applications in biomedical, pharmaceutical, and food sciences, but the characterization of these nanostructured materials is extremely challenging. The aim of this study was to use stearoyl macrogol-32 glycerides (Gelucire 50/13) gels containing seven different species of glycerides, PEG, and PEG-esters, as model, complex, multicomponent gels, to investigate the effect of water content on the micro- and nanoarchitecture of the gel interior. Thermal analysis and NMR relaxometry were used to probe the thermal and diffusional behavior of water molecules within the gel network. For the highly concentrated gels (low water content), the water activity was significantly lowered due to entrapment in the dense gel network. For the gels with intermediate water content, multiple populations of water molecules with different thermal responses and diffusion behavior were detected, indicating the presence of water in different microenvironments. This correlated with the network architecture of the freeze-dried gels observed using SEM. For the gels with high water content, increased quantities of water with similar diffusion characteristics as free water could be detected, indicating the presence of large water pockets in these gels. The results of this study provide new insights into structure of Gelucire gels, which have not been reported before because of the complexity of the material. They also demonstrate that the combination of thermal analysis and NMR relaxometry offers insights into the structure of soft materials not available by the use of each technique alone. However, we also note that in some instances the results of these measurements are overinterpreted and we suggest limitations of the methods that must be considered when using them.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gels,thermal analysis,nmr relaxometry,microenvironment,water dynamics
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2015 22:58
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 06:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53777
DOI: 10.1021/mp5008508

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