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3D printing of multifunctional hydrogels based on polysaccharides extracted from Brazilian marine algae

Abstract

In the purview of the recent demand for healthy and sustainable products, incorporation of bioactives into relevant products has increased by virtue of the health and nutrition-based benefits conferred by these functional molecules. The primary objective of this project is to develop a hydrogel based on polysaccharides, such as fucoidan and mainly alginate, which will be extracted from brown seaweeds of the genus Sargassum, for 3D printing-based applications. Our aim involves to develop a hybrid hydrogel using sodium alginate (native, material obtained after extraction, or depolymerized using an ozonation process), crosslinked with calcium chloride, in different concentrations, and combined with agar agar in order to obtain a matrix for 3D printing. The most suitable ink(s) for printing will be enriched with fucoidan, thus constituting an alternative to produce functional foods from bioactive compounds extracted from algae. The rheological behavior, printability and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of the hybrid hydrogels will be characterized. The 3D printed structures will be lyophilized to make them suitable and stable for storage and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), FTIR, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis (NMR) by Hydrogen (H1) and texture. Additionally, swelling capacity, porosity, weight loss, and antioxidant release will be analyzed to evaluate the mechanical performance and the ability to release the antioxidant from printed matrix. The alginate-based matrix developed in this study will find potential applications in the formulation of functional foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. (AU)

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