Dendrimer diffusion in k-carrageenan gel structures
Journal article, 2009
The effect of the κ-carrageenan concentration on gel microstructure and self-diffusion of polyamideamine dendrimers has been determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), image analysis, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) diffusometry. Different salt conditions of KCl, NaCl, and mixtures thereof allowed for formation of significantly different microstructures. The κ-carrageenan concentrations were varied between 0.25 and 3.0 w/w% for a salt mixture containing 20 mM KCl and 200 mM NaCl gels and between 0.5 and 4.0 w/w% for 250 mM NaCl gels. Furthermore, the effect of potassium ion concentration on the gel structure and the dendrimer diffusion rate was determined. The potassium ion concentration was varied between 20 mM KCl and 200 mM KCl. Two different dendrimer generations with significant difference in size were used: G2 and G6. Dendrimers were found to be sensitive probes for determination of the effect of the gel microstructure on molecular diffusion rate. A qualitative comparison between TEM micrographs, NMR diffusometry data and image analysis showed that the gel structure has a large impact on the dendrimers diffusion in κ-carrageenan gels. It was found that diffusion was strongly influenced by the κ-carrageenan concentration and the dendrimer generation. Small voids in the gel network gave strongly reduced diffusion. Image analysis revealed that the interfacial area between the gel network and the surrounding water phase correlated well with the dendrimer diffusion. © 2009 American Chemical Society.