Similarities between polyelectrolyte gels and biopolymer solutions

Authors

  • Ferenc Horkay,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section on Tissue Biophysics and Biomimetics, Laboratory of Integrative and Medical Biophysics, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892
    • Section on Tissue Biophysics and Biomimetics, Laboratory of Integrative and Medical Biophysics, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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  • Anne-Marie Hecht,

    1. Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique, CNRS UMR 5588, Université J. Fourier de Grenoble, B.P.87, 38402 St Martin d'Hères cedex, France
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  • Erik Geissler

    1. Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique, CNRS UMR 5588, Université J. Fourier de Grenoble, B.P.87, 38402 St Martin d'Hères cedex, France
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Abstract

Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements and osmotic swelling pressure measurements are reported for polyelectrolyte gels and solutions under nearly physiological conditions. A synthetic polymer (sodium-polyacrylate) and three biopolymers (DNA, hyaluronic acid, and polyaspartic acid) are studied. The neutron scattering response of these anionic polyelectrolytes is closely similar, indicating that at larger length scales the organization of the polymer molecules is not significantly affected by the fine details of the molecular architecture (e.g., size and chemical structure of the monomer unit, type of polymer backbone). The results suggest that specific interactions between the polyelectrolyte chains and the surrounding monovalent cations are negligible. It is found that the osmotic compression modulus of these biopolymer solutions determined from the analysis of the SANS response decreases with increasing chain persistence length. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 44: 3679–3686, 2006

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