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Gel Based Technologies
Hydrogels

The first synthetic Hydrogels were developed in the 1950s and since those days have been researched and developed as food additives, controlled release pharmaceuticals, biomedical implants, tissue constructs for tissue engineering, and  also in regenerative medicines, diagnostics, in the separation of biomolecules or cells, in biosensors, as barrier materials to regulate biological adhesions.

Hydrogels are hydrophilic polymeric network of three dimensional cross linked structures that absorb substantial amount of water. When cross-linked water solubility is reduced because of ionic interaction and hydrogen bonding. It also provides required mechanical strength and physical integrity to the Hydrogels.Hydrogels can absorb water nearly 10-20 times its molecular weight and hence become swollen. Some examples of Hydrogels include contact lenses, wound dressing, and superabsorbents.

The ability to swell can be controlled and used to release active ingredients in a controlled and targeted way. Hydrogels can also be found naturally for example agarose, hylaronan and cellulosic polymers. The materials are biocompatible and easy to modify and release of the active ingredients can be precipitated by change in pH, temperature or even change in the concentration of a specific substance in the vicinity of the hydrogel.

Conventional Air Freshener Gel Systems
Fragrances, insect repellents and other active materials can be controlled released into the environment from gel based systems. Typical air freshener systems are made from cellulose derivatives, carrageen or similar gel matrices and the fragrance is released as the gel dries out on exposure to the air. These gel systems generally contain around 5-8% fragrance and last a few weeks. The gel is prepared as a liquid and metered into plastic or glass moulds which are sealed ready for use.

 

 

 
 

Higher fragrance concentration can be achieved in sodium stearate type gels systems. Typically used in public health applications, these products can contain around 30% fragrance. Although there are specialist gel systems where the fragrance concentration can be higher than 90%.

 

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