Beatrice Cattoz

University of Greenwich, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (9)33.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Gels can be formed by dissolving Fmoc-diphenylalanine (Fmoc-PhePhe or FmocFF) in an organic solvent and adding water. We show here that the choice and amount of organic solvent allows the rheological properties of the gel to be tuned. The differences in properties arise from the microstructure of the fibre network formed. The organic solvent can then be removed post-gelation, without significant changes in the rheological properties. Gels formed using acetone are meta-stable and crystals of FmocFF suitable for X-ray diffraction can be collected from this gel.
    Soft Matter 12/2014; · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The surface functionalization of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) with various proteolytic enzymes (i.e., trypsin, papain, bromelain) via a two-step carbodiimide coupling method is presented. Depending on the initial Enzyme:NPs ratio, enzyme loadings up to 4.0 wt.%, 4.4 wt.% and 5.34 wt.% were achieved for trypsin, papain and bromelain, respectively. All three conjugated enzymes partially maintained their enzymatic activity after their coupling reaction with the NPs. NPs functionalized with papain and bromelain exhibited a three-fold higher permeability in porcine intestinal mucus compared to nonfunctionalized NPs whereas those conjugated with trypsin showed an almost two-fold higher permeability value. Measurements of the diffusion rates of intestinal mucin, using a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique, further confirmed these observations, as the enzyme-functionalized NPs were proven to be capable of disrupting the mucin gel structure. According to the reported results, the coupling of proteolytic enzymes to the PLGA NPs' surface largely increases the NPs mucus permeability, thus making it a potentially important mucus permeation strategy.
    Nano Life. 10/2014; 4(4):1441013.
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    ABSTRACT: Self-sorting in low molecular weight hydrogels can be achieved using a pH triggered approach. We show here that this method can be used to prepare gels with different types of mechanical properties. Cooperative, disruptive or orthogonal assembled systems can be produced. Gels with interesting behaviour can be also prepared, for example self-sorted gels where delayed switch-on of gelation occurs. By careful choice of gelator, co-assembled structures can also be generated, which leads to synergistic strengthening of the mechanical properties.
    Nanoscale 09/2014; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optical flow cell reflectometry was used to study the adsorption of poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) to a silica surface and the subsequent surfactant adsorption and polymer desorption upon exposure to the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). We have studied these effects as a function of pH and surfactant concentration, but also for two different methods of silica preparation, O2 plasma and piranha cleaning. As a function of pH, a plateau in the amount adsorbed of ∼0.6 mg/m(2) is observed below a critical pH, above which the adsorption decreases to zero within 2-3 pH units. An increase in pH leads to dissociation of surface OH groups and a decreased potential for hydrogen bonding between the polymer and surface. For the plasma- and piranha-cleaned silica, the critical pH differs by 1-2 pH units, a reflection of the much larger amount of surface OH groups on piranha-cleaned silica (for a given pH). Subsequent rinsing of the adsorbed layer of PVP with an SDS solution leads to total or partial desorption of the PVP layer. Any remaining adsorbed PVP then acts as an adsorption site for SDS. A large difference between plasma- and piranha-cleaned silica is observed, with the PVP layer adsorbed to plasma-cleaned silica being much more susceptible to desorption by SDS. For a plasma-cleaned surface at pH 5.5, only 30% of the originally adsorbed PVP is remaining, while for piranha-cleaned silica, the pH can be increased to 10 before a similar reduction in the amount of adsorbed PVP is seen. For a given pH, piranha-cleaned silica has a higher surface charge, leading to a smaller amount of adsorbed SDS per PVP chain on a piranha-cleaned surface compared to a plasma-cleaned surface under identical conditions. In that way, the high negative surface charge makes desorption by negatively charged SDS more difficult. The high surface charge thus protects the neutral polymer from surfactant-mediated desorption.
    Langmuir 07/2014; · 4.38 Impact Factor
  • Colloids and Surfaces A Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 05/2014; 449:57–64. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An increasing human population requires a secure food supply and a cost effective, oral vaccine delivery system for livestock would help facilitate this end. Recombinant antigen adsorbed onto silica beads and coated with myristic acid, was released (∼15% (w/v)) over 24h at pH 8.8. At pH 2, the myristic acid acted as an enteric coating, protecting the antigen from a variety of proteases. The antigen adsorbed onto silica particles, coated in myristic acid had a conserved secondary structure (measured by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy) following its pH-triggered release. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) was used to measure the thickness of the adsorbed antigen, finding that its adsorbed conformation was slightly greater than its solution radius of gyration, i.e. 120-160Å. The addition of myristic acid led to a further increase in particle size, with scattering data consistent with an acid thickness slightly greater than a monolayer of fully extended alkyl chains and a degree of hydration of around 50%. Whilst adsorbed onto the silica and coated in myristic acid, the protein was stable over 14 days at 42°C, indicating a reduced need for cold chain storage. These data indicate that further investigation is warranted into the development of this technology.
    International Journal of Pharmaceutics 03/2014; · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss the effect of the kinetics of pH change on the mechanical properties of dipeptide hydrogels. Data from other peptide-based low molecular weight gelator (LMWG) systems suggest that the rheological properties are often highly dependent on the assembly rate. To examine kinetics here, we have used the hydrolysis of glucono-δ-lactone (GdL). The hydrolysis of GdL to gluconic acid results in a decrease in pH, the rate of which is temperature sensitive. Hence, we can adjust the rate of pH decrease, whilst achieving the same absolute final pH. Our data shows that at all temperatures the rheological profile is very similar, with an increase to a plateau, followed by a second increase in moduli, despite very different kinetics of assembly. Surprisingly, the final mechanical properties are very similar in all cases. We also show that the structures formed at the plateau can be accessed by adjusting the pH using CO2. By carefully balancing the pKa of the gelator with the pH achievable using CO2, flexible hydrogel membranes can be formed as opposed to a bulk gel. The rheological characteristics of the membranes are typical of a highly entangled polymer network. These membranes can be rigidified by post-addition of GdL to further lower the pH.
    Faraday Discussions 07/2013; · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of a nonionic alcohol ethoxylate surfactant, C(13)E(7), on the interactions between PVP and SDS both in the bulk and at the silica nanoparticle interface are studied by photon correlation spectroscopy, solvent relaxation NMR, SANS, and optical reflectometry. Our results confirmed that, in the absence of SDS, C(13)E(7) and PVP are noninteracting, while SDS interacts strongly both with PVP and C(13)E(7) . Studying interfacial interactions showed that the interfacial interactions of PVP with silica can be manipulated by varying the amounts of SDS and C(13)E(7) present. Upon SDS addition, the adsorbed layer thickness of PVP on silica increases due to Coulombic repulsion between micelles in the polymer layer. When C(13)E(7) is progressively added to the system, it forms mixed micelles with the complexed SDS, reducing the total charge per micelle and thus reducing the repulsion between micelle and the silica surface that would otherwise cause the PVP to desorb. This causes the amount of adsorbed polymer to increase with C(13)E(7) addition for the systems containing SDS, demonstrating that addition of C(13)E(7) hinders the SDS-mediated desorption of an adsorbed PVP layer.
    Langmuir 03/2012; 28(15):6282-90. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The surfactant-mediated desorption of adsorbed poly(vinylpyrrolidone), PVP, from anionic silica surfaces by sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS, was observed. While photon correlation spectroscopy shows that the size of the polymer-surfactant-particle ensemble grows with added SDS, a reduction in the near-surface polymer concentration is measured by solvent relaxation NMR. Volume fraction profiles of the polymer layer extracted from small-angle neutron scattering experiments illustrate that the adsorbed polymer layer has become more diffuse and the polymer chains more elongated as a result of the addition of SDS. The total adsorbed amount is shown to decrease due to Coulombic repulsion between the surfactant-polymer complexes and between the complexes and the anionic silica surface.
    Langmuir 12/2011; 28(5):2485-92. · 4.38 Impact Factor