A 3D printable and highly stretchable tough hydrogel is developed by combining poly(ethylene glycol) and sodium alginate, which synergize to. Hydrogels are used as scaffolds for tissue engineering, vehicles for drug delivery, actuators for optics and fluidics, and model extracellular matrices for biological. In this investigation, we successfully prepared extremely stretchable, transparent and tough DN hydrogels by using neutral synthetic polymer–poly(vinyl alcohol).

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Hydrogels with enhanced mechanical properties will expand the scope of their applications. Email address is optional. These gels may serve as model systems to explore mechanisms of deformation and energy dissipation. Okumura Y, Ito K.

Microcapsules and microcarriers for in situ cell delivery. The new 3-D printing process could eventually make it possible to produce tough hydrogel structures artificially for repair or replacement of load-bearing tissues, such as cartilage.

Independent control of rigidity and toughness of polymeric hydrogels. Lab tests have already shown that the material is even tougher stretcnable natural cartilage. The extremely stretchable hybrid gels are even more remarkable when compared with their parents: This behavior is further ascertained by viscoelastic moduli determined for the hybrid and pure gels Supplementary Fig. Large strain hysteresis and mullinsV effect of hydrogelw double-network hydrogels.

While synthetic hydrogels are commonly weak or brittle, a number of them that are tough and stretchable have been developed over the last decade. For example, an alginate hydrogel ruptures when stretched to about 1. Fracture and large strain behavior of self-assembled triblock copolymer gels. A model of fracture of double network gels. Such materials might eventually be used to custom-print shapes for the replacement of cartilaginous tissues in ears, noses, or load-bearing joints, Zhao says.


Gels of various proportions of alginate and acrylamide were prepared to study why the hybrids were much more stretchable and stronger than either of their parents.

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The gel was then left in a humid highl for 1 day to stabilize the reactions. When the hybrid gel is stretched, the polyacrylamide network remains intact and stabilizes the deformation, while the alginate network unzips progressively, with closely spaced ionic crosslinks unzipping at a small stretch, followed by more and more widely spaced ionic crosslinks unzipping as the stretch increases.

Baumberger T, Ronsin O. Adaptive liquid microlenses activated by stimuli-responsive hydrogels. The new method uses a commercially available 3D-printing mechanism, Zhao explains.

Furthermore, the network of covalent crosslinks preserves the memory of the initial state, so that much of the large deformation is removed upon unloading. The alginate gel exhibited pronounced hysteresis and retained significant permanent deformation after unloading.

Highly stretchable and tough hydrogels – Semantic Scholar

The publisher’s final edited version of this article is available at Nature. The unzipped ionic crosslinks cause internal damage, which heals by re-zipping. Measurement of the fracture toughness of some contact lens hydrogels. A similar trend was observed for samples with notches Fig. Mohamadreza Nassajian MoghadamDominique P. The load sharing of the two networks may be achieved by entanglements of the polymers, and by possible covalent crosslinks formed between the amine groups on polyacrylamide chains and the carboxyl groups on alginate chains Fig.

Mechanical tests under various conditions a, Stress-stretch curves of the three types of gels, each stretched to rupture. High-water-content and resilient PEG-containing hydrogels with low fibrotic response.

The internal damage was much better healed by storing the gel at an elevated temperature for some time before reloading Fig. Enhanced proliferation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells on tough hydrogel substrates.

The experiments showed that the measured fracture energy is independent of the shape and size of the specimens. Evaluation of fracture toughness of cartilage by micropenetration. The hybrid gel was also extremely notch-insensitive.


Long-term stable hydrogels for biorelevant dissolution testing of drug-eluting stents Beatrice SemmlingStefan NagelK. When the gel is stretched, the short-chain network ruptures and dissipates energy [ 20 ]. The process might lead to injectable materials for delivering drugs or cells into the body; scaffolds for regenerating load-bearing tissues; or tough but flexible actuators for future robots, the researchers say.

The ionic crosslinks reform during a period of time after the first loading [ 22 ]. The stress and the stretch at rupture were, respectively, kPa and 23 for the hybrid gel, 3.

Recoverable energy dissipation can also be effected by hydrophobic associations [ 1718 ]. The covalent crosslinker, MBAA, was fixed at 0.

J Mater Sci Mater Med. Proc R Soc Lond A. Hybrid gels dissipate energy effectively, as shown by pronounced hysteresis. Direct observation of damage zone around crack tips in double-network. Vlassak1 and Zhigang Suo 1, 5. These gels deform elastically.

When an unnotched hybrid gel is subject to a small stretch, the elastic modulus of the hybrid gel is nearly the sum of that of the alginate gel and that of the polyacrylamide gel. The model highlights the synergy of hiighly two toughening mechanisms: That a tough material can be made of brittle constituents is reminiscent of transformation-toughening ceramics, as well as composites made of ceramic fibers and ceramic matrices.

Most hydrogels do not exhibit high stretchability; for example, an alginate hydrogel ruptures when stretched to about 1.