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Issue 37, 2018
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A diffusion-driven fabrication technique for anisotropic tubular hydrogels

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A bio-inspired, simple, and versatile diffusion-driven method to fabricate complex tubular hydrogels is reported. The controlled diffusion of small ions from a pre-designed core hydrogel through a biopolymer reservoir solution causes the self-gelation of biopolymers with an anisotropic ordered structure on the surface of the core hydrogel. By controlling the concentration, diffusion time, and flow direction of the ions, as well as the size and shape of the core, various types of complex tubular-shaped hydrogels with well-defined 3D architectures were fabricated. The mechanical properties of the designed alginate-based tubular hydrogels were highly tunable and comparable to those of native blood vessels. The method was applied to form a living-cell encapsulated tubular hydrogel, which further strengthens its potential for biomedical applications. The method is suitable for biopolymer-based reaction–diffusion systems and available for further research on the fabrication of functional biomaterials with various biopolymers.

Graphical abstract: A diffusion-driven fabrication technique for anisotropic tubular hydrogels

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jun 2018, accepted on 21 Aug 2018 and first published on 22 Aug 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01235K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 7706-7713

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    A diffusion-driven fabrication technique for anisotropic tubular hydrogels

    Md. T. I. Mredha, V. T. Tran, S. Jeong, J. Seon and I. Jeon, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 7706
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01235K

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