Langmuir, Vol.36, No.19, 5186-5191, 2020
Cyclic Micropipette Aspiration Reveals Viscoelastic Change of a Gelatin Microgel Prepared Inside a Lipid Droplet
Gelatin microgels prepared inside lipid droplets have a much higher elasticity than that of bulk gels because of their differences in nanostructure. This nanostructural difference in gelatin microgels is expected to provide the microgels with unique viscoelastic properties that differ from the bulk gels. To clarify this hypothesis, here we evaluated the frequency-dependent viscoelasticity of gelatin gels by developing a cyclic micropipette aspiration. The frequency-dependent relationship between storage modulus E' (reflecting elasticity) and loss modulus E '' (reflecting viscosity) was compared between the microgels and the bulk gels. The microgels have a smaller E ''/E' than that of the bulk gels. Because the ratio E ''/E' of the bulk gels is constant regardless of the concentration, the microgel viscoelasticity cannot be achieved for the bulk gels with a different concentration. These findings mean that preparing biopolymer gels inside droplets is useful to change the viscoelasticity via nanostructural transition through the interaction with the droplet interface.