Annealing Supramolecular Gels by a Reaction Relay

Santanu Panja, Ana M. Fuentes-Caparrós, Emily R. Cross, Leide Cavalcanti, Dave J. Adams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Supramolecular gels have potential in many areas. In many cases, a major drawback is that the gels are formed at a high rate. As a result, nonoptimal, kinetically trapped self-assembled structures are often formed, leading to gels that can be hard to reproduce and control. One method to get around kinetic trapping is annealing. Thermal annealing is one possibility, but it is not always desirable to heat the gels. Here, we describe a method to anneal pH-triggered gels after they are formed. We employ a reaction relay in a peptide-based hydrogel system to anneal the structures by a controlled and uniform pH change. Our method allows us to prepare gels with more controlled properties. We show that this can be used to enable homogeneous “molding and casting” of the hydrogels. This method of annealing is more effective in improving gel robustness than a conventional heat− cool cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5264-5271
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020

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    Panja, S., Fuentes-Caparrós, A. M., Cross, E. R., Cavalcanti, L., & Adams, D. J. (2020). Annealing Supramolecular Gels by a Reaction Relay. Chemistry of Materials, 32(12), 5264-5271.