Shape-shifting hydrogel can heal itself

Written by Jamie Durrani for Chemistry World

A shape-memory hydrogel that also has self-healing properties has been developed by scientists in China. The new material can repair itself and return to its original shape even after being cut into segments.
Both self-healing and shape-memory polymers have many potential uses, including in aerospace, textiles and biomedicine. Now, a team lead by Tao Chen and Jiawei Zhang from the Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering has developed a material that combines both of these useful properties.

The hydrogel is produced by polymerising acrylamide in the presence of a boronic acid-grafted alginate and poly(vinyl alcohol). After immersion in calcium chloride solution, the polymer is strengthened by the reversible double network of boronic acid-diol ester bonds, and chelation of the alginate chains with the calcium cations.

Graphical Abstract

Read the full article in Chemistry World >>>

Stretchable supramolecular hydrogels with triple shape memory effect
Xiaoxia Le, Wei Lu, Jing Zheng, Dingyi Tong, Ning Zhao, Chunxin Ma, He Xiao, Jiawei Zhang, Youju Huang and Tao Chen
Chem. Sci., 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02354A, Edge Article

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