Novel superabsorbant cellulose-lignin hydrogels (CL) were prepared by a new two-step procedure consisting in dissolving cellulose in an alkaline solution with further mixing with lignin, followed by the chemical crosslinking with epichlorohydrin. The crosslinking occurrence was verified by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The effect of the structure features of cellulose-lignin hydrogels on their dehydration heat was evaluated by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images reveal some morphological aspects of the hydrogels. The degree as well as the rate of swelling in a mixture of water:ethanol=19:1 were estimated. The possible application of these hydrogels as controlled release systems was tested. Polyphenols known as having a wide range of biological effects were selected to be incorporated in such hydrogels by an optimal procedure. The extract of grapes seeds from the Chambourcin type was used as a source of polyphenols (PF). The amount of the incorporated polyphenols was estimated by UV-VIS measurements. Characterization of the hydrogels containing polyphenols was performed by FTIR spectroscopy. Some parameters were estimated based on the registered spectra, as H-bond energy (EH), the asymmetric index (a/b) and the enthalpy of H-bond formation (ΔH). The modifications of the thermal behavior and morphology induced by the presence of the polyphenols in hydrogels were highlighted by DSC and SEM, respectively. The release of polyphenols from CL hydrogels depended on the lignin content from matrices, as assessed by spectral studies. Both loading with polyphenols and their release can be controlled by the composition of the hydrogels. The kinetic of polyphenols release was studied. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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