Researchers investigated the effect of various (bio)polymeric crosslinkers on the self-assembly process of this reaction-coupled hydrazide-aldehyde gelator into hydrogel materials as a model system. They selected duplex DNA, which acted as a stiff, negatively charged rigid rod below its persistence length ideal for the construction of (nano)materials,[38–40] and compared it against a soft, neutral poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) polymer of comparable size. Aldehyde moieties were specifically incorporated at the terminal ends of the (bio)polymers to introduce them during the self-assembly of the reaction-coupled network composed another set of (bio)polymers. The researchers also examined the effect of these two crosslinkers on the gelation of the reaction-coupled monomers into hydrogels over several length scales and compared their resultant materials properties.
- supramolecular materials