Tailormade Geometric Properties of Chitosan by Gamma Irradiation

Chitosans, CSs, in solution are increasingly used in a range of geometric properties in various academic and industrial sectors, especially in the domain of pharmaceutical and biomedical engineering. In order to provide a tailoring guide of CSs to the applicants, gamma (γ)-irradiation technology and simple viscosity measurements have been used in this study. Accordingly, CS solid discs (0.5 cm thickness and 2.5 cm diameter) were exposed in air to Cobalt-60 (γ)-radiation, at room temperature and constant 50 kGy dose for different periods of exposer time (tγ). Diluted solutions of native and different irradiated CS were then prepared by dissolving 1.25 mg cm-3 of each polymer in 0.1 M NaCl/0.2 M CH3COOH. The single-concentration relative viscosity (ƞr) measurements were employed to obtain their intrinsic viscosity ([ƞ]) values and interrelated parameters, like: the molar mass (Mƞ), hydrodynamic radiuses (RH,ƞ), radius of gyration (RG,ƞ), and second virial coefficient (A2,ƞ) of CSs in the solution. The results show an exponential decrease of ƞr, [ƞ], Mƞ, RH,ƞ and RG,ƞ with increasing tγ. This suggests the influence of random chain-scission of CSs glycosidic bonds, with rate constant kr and kr-1 (lifetime τr ~ 0.017 min-1 and 57.14 min, respectively). The results also show an exponential decrease of A2ƞ with increasing tγ, which can be attributed to the growth of excluded volume effect in CS segments by tγ and, hence, better solution quality. The results are represented in following scaling laws as a tailoring guide to the applicants: RH,ƞ = 6.98 x 10-3 Mr0.65; RG,ƞ = 7.09 x 10-4 Mr0.83; A2,ƞ = 121.03 Mƞ,r-0.19.