Novel hydrogels based on yeast chitin-glucan complex: Characterization and safety assessment

Diana Araújo, Vítor D. Alves, Sofia A. C. Lima, Salette Reis, Filomena Freitas, Maria A. M. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Chitin-glucan complex (CGC) was used for the first time for the preparation of hydrogels. Alkali solvent systems, NaOH and KOH solutions, either at 1 or 5 mol/L, were used for CGC dissolution using a freeze-thaw procedure (freezing at −20 °C and thawing at room temperature; four cycles). The CGC solutions thus obtained were subjected to dialysis that induced the spontaneous gelation of the biopolymer, yielding translucid hydrogels with a yellowish coloration. Although all CGC hydrogels exhibited porous microstructures, high water content (above 97%) and good mechanical properties, their morphology, viscoelastic properties and texture were influenced by the type of solvent system used for CGC dissolution, as well as by their ionic strength. The K-based hydrogels presented a less compact network with larger pores and exhibited lower elastic properties. The Na-based hydrogels, on the other hand, exhibited a denser structure with smaller pores and a stiffer gel structure. These results show that it is possible to prepare CGC hydrogels with differing characteristics that can be suitable for different applications. Furthermore, all hydrogels were non-cytotoxic towards L929 fibroblasts and HaCaT keratinocytes. This study demonstrates CGC can be used to prepare biocompatible hydrogels with properties render them promising biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • Biocompatibility
  • Chitin-glucan complex
  • Hydrogels

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