Characterization of surface charge and mechanical properties of chitosan/alginate based biomaterials

Devendra Verma, Malav S. Desai, Namrata Kulkarni, Noshir Langrana

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32 Scopus citations


This study aims to examine mechanical properties and surface charge characteristics of chitosan/alginate-based films for biomedical applications. By varying the concentrations of chitosan and alginate, we have developed films with varying surface charge densities and mechanical characteristics. The surface charge densities of these films were determined by applying an analytical model on force curves derived from an atomic force microscope (AFM). The average surface charge densities of films containing 60% chitosan and 80% chitosan were found to be - 0.46 mC/m2 and - 0.32 mC/m2, respectively. The surface charge density of 90% chitosan containing films was found to be neutral. The elastic moduli and the water content were found to be decreasing with increasing chitosan concentration. The films with 60%, 80% and 90% chitosan gained 93.5 ± 6.6%, 217.1 ± 22.1% and 396.8 ± 67.5% of their initial weight, respectively. Their elastic moduli were found to be 2.6 ± 0.14 MPa, 1.9 ± 0.27 MPa and 0.93 ± 0.12 MPa, respectively. The trend observed in the mechanical response of these films has been attributed to the combined effect of the concentration of polyelectrolyte complexes (PEC) and the amount of water absorbed. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy experiments indicate the presence of higher alginate on the surface of the films compared to the bulk in all films. The presence of higher alginate on surface is consistent with negative surface charge densities of these films, determined from AFM experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1741-1747
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • AFM
  • Alginate
  • Chitosan
  • Polyelectrolyte complex
  • Surface charge


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