The production of injectable pectin hydrogels by internal gelation with calcium carbonate is proposed.
The pH of pectin was increased with NaOH or NaHCO3 to reach physiological values. The determination of
the equivalence point provided evidence that the pH can be more precisely modulated with NaHCO3 than
with NaOH. Degradation and inability to gel was observed for pectin solutions with pH 5.35 or higher.
Therefore, pectin solutions with pH values varying from 3.2 (native pH) to 3.8 were chosen to produce
the gels. The increase of the pH for the crosslinked hydrogels, as well as the reduction of the gelling time
and their thickening, was dependent upon the amount of calcium carbonate, as conﬁrmed by rheology.
Hydrogel extracts were not cytotoxic for L-929 ﬁbroblasts.
On the overall, the investigated formulations represent interesting injectable systems providing an
adequate microenvironment for cell, drug or bioactive molecules delivery