Superabsorbent materials such as SAPs have the capacity to absorb extremely large amounts of liquid compared to their mass. This class of materials was developed in the 1960s mainly to retain water for agricultural applications. Since then, superabsorbent materials have been used in various applications and industries such us: wound dressing, surgical pads, diapers and adult diapers, filtration, release of insecticides, potting soil, flood control and prevention, stabilization of waste. Superabsorbents are made of dried polymers that have the capacity to rapidly absorb water or saline solutions and to retain the absorbed liquid. Because mastering this functionality is critical for superabsorbents, it is important in R&D and QC to precisely measure how a specific SAP absorbs a given solution.
ElastoSens™ Bio measures in real time how superabsorbents absorb a liquid solution by measuring the elastic modulus of the forming gel during absorption. The instrument measures the exact time when absorption starts, the speed of absorption (speed of swelling) as well as the final gel elastic modulus. ElastoSens™ Bio can also characterize how superabsorbents react to multiple/sequential intakes and how porosity evolves at low absorption rates.
In this example, the effect of the water-to-superabsorbent ratio on the kinetics of absorption was studied using the ElastoSens™ Bio. The water-to-powder ratio was varied as follows: 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400 g/g. As it can be seen, the absorption kinetics is strongly affected by the water-to-powder ratio. The absorption was initiated more rapidly when the ratio was low. It also clearly appears that the stiffness of the resulting gel was inversely proportional to the water-to-powder ratio. ElastoSens™ Bio can serve to study how chemical and physical conditions affect the absorption of solutions by a superabsorbent polymer (SAP).
The ElastoSens™ Bio also proved to be useful to study the incremental absorption of a solution. It can also be used to study, in vitro, the absorption of physiological liquids and to simulate real life conditions.
Benefits of Contact-Free, Non-Invasive Measurements with the Elastosens™ Bio
- Test non-destructively the viscoelastic properties of bulk hydrogels, 3D bioprinted scaffolds and 3D cell-laden hydrogels.
- Apply programmable thermo and photo (UV) stimulations to deeply analyze your material.
- Follow the evolution of the same sample from formation to degradation non-destructively and over long periods of time.
- Get advanced and personalized Soft Matter Analytics™.
- Accelerate your formulation process while improving repeatability.
- Test bioengineered tissues in a cell-friendly and sterile environment.
- Operate a truly easy-to-use instrument designed for biologists, chemists and material scientists.
- Save time and material for R&D and QC operations.
- Customize your own testing system with up to 5 instruments thanks to the modularity of the ElastoSens™ Bio.
- Optimize your investments with affordable instruments that fit your needs and budget.
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Related Application Notes
Cellularized hydrogels have been widely investigated for producing in vitro models of tissues such as skin, blood vessels, bone, etc. These models can be a valuable alternative to animal models used in trials for studying physio/pathological processes and for testing new drugs and medical devices.
The controlled release of drugs at precise locations within the body can prevent systemic toxicity and deliver accurate dosages to patients. Hydrogels have recently been investigated as promising drug delivery systems due to their ability to provide spatial and temporal control over the release of a number of therapeutic agents. Furthermore, the easy tunability of their physicochemical and mechanical properties allows the design of application-specific release systems.
3D printing technologies offer the advantage of precisely controlling the microstructure of scaffolds used for tissue engineering applications and drug delivery systems. The macro-mechanical properties of these scaffolds are directly related to their microstructure and both are important parameters for cell behavior and drug release.
Biodegradable hydrogels are promising candidates as drug carriers due to their biocompatibility and tunable degradation. This is particularly valuable for oral delivery systems since the polymer should respond to pH or enzymatic changes in the gastrointestinal environment to achieve a controlled drug release.
Hydrogels exhibit a pronounced viscoelastic behavior similar to soft tissues. For this reason, they have been widely used in biomedical research for developing engineered tissues and novel treatments such as wound dressings and drug delivery systems.
Hydrogels have been widely used in biomedical research for developing engineered tissues and novel treatments such as wound dressings and drug delivery systems. Photo-crosslinkable polymers are an interesting option in the field due to the possibility of tuning its microstructure by regulating the wavelength, intensity and duration of the applied light [1, 2, 3].
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