Background This work investigates a general method for producing alginate gel matrices using an internal mode of gelation that depends solely on soluble alginate and alginate/gelling ion particles. The method involves the formulation of two-component kits comprised of soluble alginate and insoluble alginate/gelling ion particles. Gelling kinetics, elastic and Young’s moduli were investigated for selected parameters with regard to soluble alginate guluronate content, molecular weight, calcium or strontium gelling ions and alginate gelling ion particle sizes in the range between 25 and 125 micrometers. Results By mixing the two components and varying the parameters mentioned above, alginate gel matrices with tailor-made viscoelastic properties and gelling kinetics were obtained. Final gel elasticity depended on alginate type, concentration and gelling ion. The gelling rate could be manipulated, e.g. through selection of the alginate type and molecular weight, particle sizes and the concentration of non-gelling ions. Conclusions Formulations of the injectable and moldable alginate system presented have recently been used within specific medical applications and may have potential within regenerative medicine or other fields.
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