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Issue 33, 2014
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Light-healable hard hydrogels through photothermally induced melting–crystallization phase transition

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Abstract

A general method for preparing mechanically strong hydrogels that can undergo light-triggered healing was demonstrated. By loading a small amount of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs, 0.05 wt%) in hydrogels prepared with stearyl acrylate (SA), N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA), whose strength is endowed by chemical crosslinking coexisting with crystallized hydrophobic SA side chains acting as the physical crosslinks, exposing a cut-through damage to a laser of wavelength at the surface plasmon resonance of AuNPs and subsequently turning off the light, gives rise to efficient healing of the hydrogel as a result of the reversible melting–crystallization phase transition of the hydrophobically associated SA chains. A hydrogel of this kind exhibits an unprecedented tensile strength, after repairing, of greater than 2 MPa. It also displays a light-controllable shape memory effect.

Graphical abstract: Light-healable hard hydrogels through photothermally induced melting–crystallization phase transition

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Article information


Submitted
15 May 2014
Accepted
10 Jun 2014
First published
11 Jun 2014

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 13373-13379
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Light-healable hard hydrogels through photothermally induced melting–crystallization phase transition

H. Zhang, D. Han, Q. Yan, D. Fortin, H. Xia and Y. Zhao, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 13373
DOI: 10.1039/C4TA02463J

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