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Issue 2, 2017
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Bilayer hydrogel actuators with tight interfacial adhesion fully constructed from natural polysaccharides

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Abstract

Smart hydrogel actuators with excellent biocompatibility and biodegradation are extremely desired for biomedical applications. Herein, we have constructed bio-hydrogel actuators inspired by the bilayer structures of plant organs from chitosan and cellulose/carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) solution in an alkali/urea aqueous system containing epichlorohydrin (ECH) as a crosslinker, and demonstrated tight adhesion between two layers through strong electrostatic attraction and chemical crosslinking. The bilayer hydrogels with excellent mechanical properties could carry out rapid, reversible, and repeated self-rolling deformation actuated by pH-triggered swelling/deswelling, and transformed into rings, tubules, and flower-, helix-, bamboo-, and wave-like shapes by effectively designing the geometric shape and size. The significant difference in the swelling behavior between the positively charged chitosan and the negatively charged cellulose/CMC layers generated enough force to actuate the performance of the hydrogels as soft grippers, smart encapsulators, and bioinspired lenses, showing potential applications in a wide range of fields including biomedicine, biomimetic machines, etc.

Graphical abstract: Bilayer hydrogel actuators with tight interfacial adhesion fully constructed from natural polysaccharides

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Sep 2016, accepted on 16 Nov 2016 and first published on 16 Nov 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02089E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 345-354
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    Bilayer hydrogel actuators with tight interfacial adhesion fully constructed from natural polysaccharides

    J. Duan, X. Liang, K. Zhu, J. Guo and L. Zhang, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 345
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02089E

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