Influence of amino acids, buffers, and pH on the γ-irradiation-induced degradation of alginates
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBiomacromolecules. 2014, 15 (12), 4590-4597. 10.1021/bm501386n
Alginate-based biomaterials and medical devices are commonly subjected to γ-irradiation as a means of sterilization, either in the dry state or the gel (hydrated) state. In this process the alginate chains degrade randomly in a dose-dependent manner, altering alginates’ material properties. The addition of free radical scavenging amino acids such as histidine and phenylalanine protects the alginate significantly against degradation, as shown by monitoring changes in the molecular weight distributions using SEC-MALLS and determining the pseudo first order rate constants of degradation. Tris buffer (0.5 M), but not acetate, citrate, or phosphate buffers had a similar effect on the degradation rate. Changes in pH itself had only marginal effects on the rate of alginate degradation and on the protective effect of amino acids. Contrary to previous reports, the chemical composition (M/G profile) of the alginates, including homopolymeric mannuronan, was unaltered following irradiation up to 10 kGy.