Hybrid hydrogels composed of imogolite fibrous nanotube (IG) and hyaluronic acid (HA) were prepared. Hexamethylenediamine (HMDA) was used as a non-toxic chemical cross-linker. The homogeneous dispersion of IG in the HA solution was accomplished by careful pH control, and subsequent chemical cross-linking provided mechanically stable self-standing hybrid hydrogels. The IG/HA hybrid hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), swelling test, compression test, oscillatory rheological analysis, and enzymatic degradation test. The IG/HA hybrid hydrogels show better mechanical properties and lower degradation rate than native HA-based hydrogels without IG hybridization because the cross-linking density increases by incorporation of additional IG network into chemically cross-linked HA network.
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