Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 5, 2014
Previous Article Next Article

Multi-scale multi-mechanism design of tough hydrogels: building dissipation into stretchy networks

Author affiliations

Abstract

As swollen polymer networks in water, hydrogels are usually brittle. However, hydrogels with high toughness play critical roles in many plant and animal tissues as well as in diverse engineering applications. Here we review the intrinsic mechanisms of a wide variety of tough hydrogels developed over the past few decades. We show that tough hydrogels generally possess mechanisms to dissipate substantial mechanical energy but still maintain high elasticity under deformation. The integrations and interactions of different mechanisms for dissipating energy and maintaining elasticity are essential to the design of tough hydrogels. A matrix that combines various mechanisms is constructed for the first time to guide the design of next-generation tough hydrogels. We further highlight that a particularly promising strategy for the design is to implement multiple mechanisms across multiple length scales into nano-, micro-, meso-, and macro-structures of hydrogels.

Graphical abstract: Multi-scale multi-mechanism design of tough hydrogels: building dissipation into stretchy networks

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Publication details

The article was received on 26 Aug 2013, accepted on 25 Oct 2013 and first published on 29 Oct 2013


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52272E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2014,10, 672-687
  •   Request permissions

    Multi-scale multi-mechanism design of tough hydrogels: building dissipation into stretchy networks

    X. Zhao, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 672
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52272E

Search articles by author