Precursor-involved and Conversion Rate-controlled Self-assembly of a 'Super Gelator' in Thixotropic Hydrogels for Drug Delivery



Enzymatic hydrogelation is a totally different process to the heating-cooling gelation process, in which the precursors of the gelators can be involved during the formation of self-assembled structures. Using thixotropic hydrogels formed by a super gelator as our studied system, we demonstrated that the enzyme concentration/conversion rate of enzymatic reaction had a strong influence on the morphology of resulting self-assembled nanostructures and the property of resulting hydrogels. The principle demonstrated in this study not only helps to understand and elucidate the phenomenon of self-assembly triggered by enzymes in biological systems, but also offers a unique methodology to control the morphology of self-assembled structures for specific applications such as controlled drug release.