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Issue 44, 2017
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Communication between hydrogel beads via chemical signalling

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In this work, we demonstrate chemical communication between millimetre-sized soft hydrogel beads in an aqueous environment. Silver cations (Ag+) and the Ag+ chelator dithiothreitol (DTT) are used as signalling molecules. By exploiting their interplay, we conduct a series of ‘conversations’ between millimetre-sized beads. The communication process is monitored by tracking the response and behaviour of a central bead. This bead is loaded with the enzyme urease and has the ability to undergo a change in colour associated with a change in pH. Competitive communication between three beads, whereby the central bead receives two competing signals from two senders, is shown. We believe that our hydrogel-based system demonstrates an advance in the communication capabilities of small soft matter objects.

Graphical abstract: Communication between hydrogel beads via chemical signalling

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The article was received on 25 Aug 2017, accepted on 27 Oct 2017 and first published on 27 Oct 2017

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02278F
J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017,5, 8681-8685

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    Communication between hydrogel beads via chemical signalling

    R. W. Jaggers and S. A. F. Bon, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, 5, 8681
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02278F

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