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Neutrons scattering intensities I(q), subtracted from the incoherent background, from both hydrated (full dot) and dried fibrin (open circles) gels are reported. The evident shoulder, occurring at q larger than 0.1 nm−1, in hydrated samples disappears on dried samples. The low q region of both intensity profiles are well fitted by the Porod law (dashed line). Equation (1), representing the scattering contribution arising from polymers and solvent nanocavities, perfectly fit the intensity distribution of hydrated sample (dot-dashed line).
(Color online) Representative AFM image (11.5 × 11.5 μm) of dried fibrin fibers. A continuous network of thick fibers (δ = 497 ± 93 nm) anastomosed with each other and oriented in several different directions can be observed. The power spectrum density (open circle), calculated from AFM topography, allows for the calculation of the surface fractal dimension (Ds = 2.7 ± 0.2).
(Color online) Fibrin gel supermolecular structure. In panel (a), a representative SEM micrographs (25 × 25 μm) of a fully hydrated gels is reported. A network of entangled fibrin fibers of diameter δ = 422 ± 53 nm is clearly visible. The inner structure of each fibrin fibers of diameter is sketched as a collection of packed protofibrils. (panel (b)). Solvent nanocavities schematized as cylindrical objects of diameter R and length L are regularly displaced within the fibers.
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