Bigels are two-phase systems in which each phase (organic or aqueous) is structured using a specific gelator. Currently, these systems are widely investigated, mainly as matrices for controlled drug delivery, because they possess the advantages of both organogels and hydrogels and are very stable owing to the structuration of the dispersing phase. A deeper knowledge of the relationship between macroscopic properties and microscopic parameters seems necessary to aim at designing materials with specific rheological properties and suitable for specific uses. From a rheological point of view, bigels can be considered as composite materials in which a structured system (organogel or hydrogel, according to the desired use) is dispersed in a gelled continuous phase. In the present paper, a number of rheological models, already proposed in literature for composite systems, were used to relate the bigel complex modulus to the rheological properties of dispersed and continuous phase and to their volumetric ratio. It was observed that these models are not able to describe properly bigel behaviour, probably owing to some theoretical assumptions such as the uniform distribution of spherical particles. An empirical modification of a literature model, proposed to take into account some peculiarities of bigels, yields an improvement of fitting even if further investigations are necessary to better understand the effects of particle size distribution and morphology on observed properties.

A rheological modelling and microscopic analysis of bigels

Lupi F. R.;De Santo M. P.;Ciuchi F.;Baldino N.;Gabriele D
2017-01-01

Abstract

Bigels are two-phase systems in which each phase (organic or aqueous) is structured using a specific gelator. Currently, these systems are widely investigated, mainly as matrices for controlled drug delivery, because they possess the advantages of both organogels and hydrogels and are very stable owing to the structuration of the dispersing phase. A deeper knowledge of the relationship between macroscopic properties and microscopic parameters seems necessary to aim at designing materials with specific rheological properties and suitable for specific uses. From a rheological point of view, bigels can be considered as composite materials in which a structured system (organogel or hydrogel, according to the desired use) is dispersed in a gelled continuous phase. In the present paper, a number of rheological models, already proposed in literature for composite systems, were used to relate the bigel complex modulus to the rheological properties of dispersed and continuous phase and to their volumetric ratio. It was observed that these models are not able to describe properly bigel behaviour, probably owing to some theoretical assumptions such as the uniform distribution of spherical particles. An empirical modification of a literature model, proposed to take into account some peculiarities of bigels, yields an improvement of fitting even if further investigations are necessary to better understand the effects of particle size distribution and morphology on observed properties.
2017
bigel; composite gels; confocal microscopy; hydrogel; modelling; organogel
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/157175
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