Analysing and controlling the self-assembly of Gelation

Cross, Emily Ruth (2020) Analysing and controlling the self-assembly of Gelation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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We describe new methods to analyse and control the self-assembly of gelation leading to exciting new soft materials. These materials have been shown to be of use to a wide range of applications including antimicrobial coatings, OPV devices, thermochromic materials and biomedical materials. Many of the described methods are novel or go beyond the state of the art.
One of the analytical methods probes the surface chemistry of self-assembled hydrogel fibres to determine their pKa. This method not only determines the gel’s pKa but whether indeed a gel would form from a small molecule and what its rheological stiffness would be. This is the first incident of electrochemistry being used to determine the rheology of gels. Furthermore, a method to probe in the real time the self-assembly kinetics of a gelator to form a gel using multiple pulse amperometry is described. This method is expanded to complex multicomponent systems.
Electrochemically fabricated hydrogels are developed and for the first time we show how the rheological properties can be controlled by controlling the electrochemical parameters. In addition to controlled rheological properties, the gels formed have unique mesh sizes and thermochromic properties.
We introduce a new gelation trigger method for low molecular weight hydrogels. Dopamine autoxidation can be used to control the self-assembly of small molecules to form gels and we go on to describe how these gels can be used for antimicrobial purposes.
To expand on the electrochemically fabricated hydrogels, we propose the oxidation of dopamine as a new electrochemical trigger. We describe how the rheological properties of the gels can be controlled and how they are potentially suitable for biomedical applications.
Finally, we describe a method to control the self-assembly of both single and multi-component gel networks by temperature and use an array of analytical techniques to show this. We expand on this work to show how the temperature control can form gels with varying networks which lead directly to changes in the efficiency of electron transfer.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: gelation, gel, hydrogel, electrochemical fabrication, multicomponent, electrochemistry.
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Supervisor's Name: Adams, Professor Dave J.
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Emily R. Cross
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81594
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 10:57
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 08:15
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81594
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