Emulsion templating is an effective route for the preparation of macroporous polymer foams, with well-defined pore structures. This kind of material is usually obtained by polymerization or crosslinking in the external phase of highly concentrated emulsions. The present article describes the synthesis of macroporous foams based on a cationic polymer, chitosan, crosslinked with genipin, a natural crosslinker. The phase behavior was used to study the influence of chitosan on surfactant self-aggregation. Hexagonal and lamellar liquid crystalline structures could be obtained in the presence of chitosan, and polymer did not greatly influence the geometric lattice parameters of these self-aggregates. O/W highly concentrated emulsions were obtained in the presence of chitosan in the continuous phase, which allowed reducing both droplet size and polydispersity. The emulsions were stable during the time required for crosslinking, obtaining macroporous foams with high pore volume and degree of crosslinking.
Keywords: Chitosan; Genipin; Highly concentrated emulsion; Solid foam; Template.
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