The properties of a hydrogel are controlled by the underlying network that immobilizes the solvent. For gels formed by the self-assembly of a small molecule, it is common to show the primary fibres that entangle to form the network by microscopy, but it is difficult to access information about the network. One approach to understand the network is to examine the effect of the concentration on the rheological properties, such that G′∝ cx, where G′ is the storage modulus and c is the concentration. A number of reports link the exponent x to a specific type of network. Here, we discuss a small library of gels formed using functionalized dipeptides, and describe the underlying networks of these gels, using microscopy, small angle scattering and rheology. We show that apparently different networks can give very similar values of x.
Fuentes-Caparrós, A. M., McAulay, K., Rogers, S. E., Dalgliesh , R. M., & Adams, D. J. (2019). On the mechanical properties of N-functionalised dipeptide gels. Molecules, 24(21), . https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213855