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Creating stiff, tough, and functional hydrogel composites with low-melting-point alloys

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Title: Creating stiff, tough, and functional hydrogel composites with low-melting-point alloys
Authors: Takahashi, Riku Browse this author
Sun, Tao Lin Browse this author
Saruwatari, Yoshiyuki Browse this author
Kurokawa, Takayuki Browse this author →KAKEN DB
King, Daniel R. Browse this author
Gong, Jian Ping Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: composite materials
double-network gels
low-melting-point alloys
thermal responsive materials
Issue Date: 19-Apr-2018
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Journal Title: Advanced Materials
Volume: 30
Issue: 16
Start Page: 1706885
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/adma.201706885
Abstract: Reinforcing hydrogels with a rigid scaffold is a promising method to greatly expand the mechanical and physical properties of hydrogels. One of the challenges of creating hydrogel composites is the significant stress that occurs due to swelling mismatch between the water-swollen hydrogel matrix and the rigid skeleton in aqueous media. This stress can cause physical deformation (wrinkling, buckling, or fracture), preventing the fabrication of robust composites. Here, a simple yet versatile method is introduced to create "macroscale" hydrogel composites, by utilizing a rigid reinforcing phase that can relieve stress-induced deformation. A low-melting-point alloy that can transform from a load-bearing solid state to a free-deformable liquid state at relatively low temperature is used as a reinforcing skeleton, which enables the release of any swelling mismatch, regardless of the matrix swelling degree in liquid media. This design can generally provide hydrogels with hybridized functions, including excellent mechanical properties, shape memory, and thermal healing, which are often difficult or impossible to achieve with single-component hydrogel systems. Furthermore, this technique enables controlled electrochemical reactions and channel-structure templating in hydrogel matrices. This work may play an important role in the future design of soft robots, wearable electronics, and biocompatible functional materials.
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Creating Stiff, Tough, and Functional Hydrogel Composites with Low‐Melting‐Point Alloys, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:国際連携研究教育局 : GI-CoRE (Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education : GI-CoRE) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)


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