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Issue 2, 2013
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Single-composition three-dimensionally morphing hydrogels

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Abstract

We describe an approach to create pH responsive films that can transform from a flat state to a pre-described deformation. Our approach to fabricate these films is based on the use of a monomeric mixture of acrylic acid and a diacrylate crosslinker. Upon UV initiated free-radical polymerization the different monomers have different reactivities, which enables polymerization induced diffusion during spatially modulated UV intensity gradients. By means of this process the crosslink density within the film can be tuned spatially both in-plane and over the film thickness. The crosslink density determines the degree of swelling upon actuation of the formed hydrogel by a pH change. We demonstrate this effect by pH-switchable systems which are either substrate-attached exhibiting surface topologies upon actuation or freestanding that can undergo geometrical changes in the form of bending, curling or morphing into even more complex shapes.

Graphical abstract: Single-composition three-dimensionally morphing hydrogels

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jul 2012, accepted on 15 Oct 2012 and first published on 31 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26543E
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 588-596

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    Single-composition three-dimensionally morphing hydrogels

    D. Liu, C. W. M. Bastiaansen, J. M. J. den Toonder and D. J. Broer, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 588
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26543E

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