Hierarchical surface wrinkles and bumps generated on chitosan films having double-skin layers comprising topmost carrageenan layers and polyion complex layers

Carbohydr Polym. 2022 May 15;284:119224. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2022.119224. Epub 2022 Feb 7.


Surface wrinkling to fabricate hierarchical surface topographies has attracted much attention because of the potential and multifunctional applications of hierarchical surface wrinkles beyond uniform wrinkles. Although many reports have described the preparation of hierarchical wrinkles induced by mechanical stress and heat, fabrication through drying-induced shrinkage has hardly been reported. Here we introduce hierarchical surface wrinkles and bumps generated on a chitosan film via the preparation of double-skin layers with κ- and ι-carrageenans, respectively, and subsequent drying. Double-skin layers are fabricated on a swollen chitosan film, called a chitosan hydrogel film, that is soaked first in κ- or ι-carrageenan solution and then in water to remove excess adsorbed κ- or ι-carrageenan. After the film is dried, hierarchical microscopic surface architectures are observed. In the case of the κ-carrageenan system, the wrinkles are hierarchical, consisting of wrinkles (6.2 ± 2.8 μm) that have smaller buckles (0.23 ± 0.09 μm). We reveal that the wrinkles or the smaller buckles are caused by plane inhomogeneous shrinkage between the κ-carrageenan layer and the chitosan film or by the aggregation of the κ-carrageenan layer upon drying, respectively. Interestingly, the ι-carrageenan system showed hierarchical bumps consisting of semispherical bumps (5.6 ± 2.1 μm) that have smaller bumps (0.78 ± 0.27 μm). We reveal that the larger bumps are generated during the immersion of the chitosan hydrogel film into ι-carrageenan solution. The smaller bumps are generated by the aggregation of the ι-carrageenan layer that occurs during drying; this process requires the plane compression strain caused by the shrinkage of the chitosan hydrogel film.

Keywords: Bumps; Carrageenan; Chitosan; Skin layer; Wrinkle.

MeSH terms

  • Carrageenan / pharmacology
  • Chitosan*
  • Desiccation
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Water


  • Water
  • Carrageenan
  • Chitosan