Effect of preparation method on alginate wafer properties

Man, Ernest and Oluwasanmi, Adeolu and Lamprou, Dimitrios A. and Goudie, Kirsty and Liggat, John and Hoskins, Clare (2022) Effect of preparation method on alginate wafer properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 139 (39). e52941. ISSN 0021-8995 (https://doi.org/10.1002/app.52941)

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The utilization of alginate polymers for wound healing is well explored; however, little attention is paid toward the optimization of the manufacturing process, especially in regards to the final morphological and rheological properties that are imparted to the alginate matrix. This is important as it helps to establish a set of guidelines for the consistent fabrication of mechanically strong polymer wafers, which in the context of manufacturing and production contributes to the reduction in research and development time required. In this study, the order of application with respect to cross-linking and freeze-drying parameters has been investigated, which showed to result in distinct differences in terms of their overall morphology and mechanical strength. The application of freeze-drying before cross-linking results in the uniform distribution of cross-links throughout the alginate wafer, thereby producing a mechanically strong polymer wafer that retains the dehydrated matrices original thickness and architecture. Based on the observed data, freeze-drying prior to cross-linking facilitates the increased permeation and distribution of the cross-linker solution into the polymer matrix, thus resulting in the uniform distribution of ionic cross-links, which is necessary to produce a more mechanically superior polymer matrix.