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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The extremely stretchable hybrid gels are even more strtchable when compared with their parents: Lab tests have already shown that the material is even tougher than natural cartilage. In an aqueous solution, the G blocks on different alginate chains form ionic crosslinks through divalent cations e.

In both polyacrylamide gel and alginate gel, rupture results from localized damage, leading to small fracture energies.

Highly stretchable and tough hydrogels

When the stretch was small, the elastic modulus of the hybrid gel was 29kPa, which was close to the sum of the elastic modulus of the alginate gel 17kPa and that of the polyacrylamide gel 8kPa. Support Center Support Center. Our data suggest that the fracture energy of hydrogels can be dramatically enhanced by combining weak and strong crosslinks. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. 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.

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SternbergWerner WeitschiesAnne Seidlitz Thus, in the hybrid gel the alginate and the polyacrylamide chains both bear loads. Okumura Y, Hydorgels K.

After one pair of G blocks unzip, the high stress shifts to the neighboring pair of G blocks and causes them to unzip also Supplementary Fig.

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The publisher’s final edited version of this article is available at Nature. Citations Publications citing this paper. A stregchable trend was observed for samples with notches Fig. The pronounced hysteresis and relatively small permanent deformation of the hybrid gel were further demonstrated by loading several samples to large values of stretch before unloading Fig.

New Process for 3D Printing of Highly Stretchable and Tough Hydrogels

Tough and self-healing hydrogels formed via hydrophobic interactions. Ionically cross-linked triblock copolymer hydrogels with high strength.

After the first loading and unloading, the hybrid gel was much weaker if the second loading was applied immediately, and recovered somewhat if the second loading was applied 1 day later Fig.

The nominal stress s is defined by the force applied on the deformed gel divided by the cross-sectional area of the undeformed gel. When the proportion of acrylamide was increased, the elastic modulus of the hybrid gel was reduced Fig.


The ionic crosslinks reform during hyddogels period of time after the first loading [ 22 ]. The scope of hydrogel applications, however, is often severely limited by their mechanical behaviour. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.

Highly stretchable and tough hydrogels

Fracture and large strain behavior of self-assembled triblock copolymer gels. Improving hydrogels’ toughness by increasing the dissipative properties of their network. Open in a separate window. Microcapsules and microcarriers for in situ cell delivery. Qiu Y, Park K. Such resilience is a key feature of natural bodily tissues that need to withstand a variety of forces and impacts. Hydrogels for tissue engineering. When a gel made with hydrophobic bilayers in a hydrophilic polymer network is stretched, the bilayers dissociate and dissipate energy; upon unloading, the bilayers re-assemble, leading to recovery [ 17 ].

The stress and the stretch at rupture were, respectively, kPa and 23 for the hybrid gel, 3.