Strong, Ultrafast, Reprogrammable Hydrogel Actuators with Muscle-Mimetic Aligned Fibrous Structures

Jiang, Zhen and Seraji, Seyed Mohsen and Tan, Xiao and Zhang, Xinxing and Dinh, Toan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7489-9640 and Mollazade, Mahdie and Rowan, Alan E and Whittaker, Andrew K and Song, Pingan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1082-652X and Wang, Hao (2021) Strong, Ultrafast, Reprogrammable Hydrogel Actuators with Muscle-Mimetic Aligned Fibrous Structures. Chemistry of Materials, 33 (19). pp. 7818-7828. ISSN 0897-4756


Abstract

Hydrogel actuators displaying programmable shape transformations promise to be core components in future biomedical and soft robotic devices. However, current hydrogel actuators have shortcomings, including poor mechanical properties, slow response, and lack of shape reprogrammability, which limit their practical applications. Existing molecular designs offer limited efficiency in synergistically addressing these issues in a single hydrogel system. Herein, we propose a strategy to develop hydrogel actuators with muscle-mimetic aligned microfibrillar morphology, combining thermoinduced microphase separation and mechanical alignment. The key to our design is the introduction of metal–phenolic complexes, which not only induce irreversible sol–gel transition via the concentrated coordinate ions above lower critical solution temperature (LCST) but also fix the alignment of bundle network due to dynamic network rearrangement. Our design concept is observed to simultaneously achieve excellent mechanical properties (tensile strength ≈ 1.27 MPa, toughness ≈ 2.0 MJ m–3) and ultrafast actuation (40.1% thermal contraction as short as 1 s), which is a long-lasting challenge in the field. In addition, the dynamic hydrogels can be reprogrammed into spiral, helical, and biomimetic actuators. This work opens new opportunities to realize real-world applications for smart hydrogels as soft machines by fundamentally breaking the current property limit.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Future Materials (1 Jan 2017 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Future Materials (1 Jan 2017 -)
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2021 03:34
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2021 01:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomedical robotics; Core components; Fibrous structures; Hydrogel actuators; Mimetics; Reprogrammable; Robotic devices; Shape transformation; Soft robotics; Ultra-fast
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091209 Polymers and Plastics
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091205 Functional Materials
Fields of Research (2020): 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3403 Macromolecular and materials chemistry > 340302 Macromolecular materials
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401605 Functional materials
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401609 Polymers and plastics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280105 Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280110 Expanding knowledge in engineering
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c02312
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/44068

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