Design, preparation and characterization of ulvan based thermosensitive hydrogels

Carbohydr Polym. 2016 Jan 20:136:1108-17. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.09.068. Epub 2015 Oct 13.


The present study is focused on the exploitation and conversion of sulphated polysaccharides obtained from waste algal biomass into high value added material for biomedical applications. ulvan, a sulphated polysaccharide extracted from green seaweeds belonging to Ulva sp. was selected as a suitable material due to its chemical versatility and widely ascertained bioactivity. To date the present work represents the first successful attempt of preparation of ulvan-based hydrogels displaying thermogelling behaviour. ulvan was provided with thermogelling properties by grafting poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) chains onto its backbone as thermosensitive component. To this aim ulvan was properly modified with acryloyl groups to act as macroinitiator in the radical polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide, induced by UV irradiation through a "grafting from" method. The thermogelling properties of the copolymer were investigated by thermal and rheological analyses. Sol-gel transition of the copolymer was found to occur at 30-31 °C thus indicating the feasibility of ulvan for being used as in-situ hydrogel forming systems for biomedical applications.

Keywords: Injectable systems; Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide); Thermogelling; UV photopolymerization; Ulvan.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylates / chemistry
  • Acrylic Resins / chemistry
  • Biomass
  • Drug Design*
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phase Transition
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Rheology
  • Sulfates / chemistry
  • Temperature*
  • Ulva / chemistry
  • Waste Products


  • Acrylates
  • Acrylic Resins
  • Hydrogels
  • Polysaccharides
  • Sulfates
  • Waste Products
  • ulvan
  • poly-N-isopropylacrylamide
  • acrylic acid