Metal-coordination: using one of nature's tricks to control soft material mechanics†
Growing evidence supports a critical role of dynamic metal-coordination crosslinking in soft biological material properties such as self-healing and underwater adhesion. Using bio-inspired metal-coordinating polymers, initial efforts to mimic these properties have shown promise. Here we demonstrate how bio-inspired aqueous polymer network mechanics can be easily controlled via metal-coordination crosslink dynamics; metal ion-based crosslink stability control allows aqueous polymer network relaxation times to be finely tuned over several orders of magnitude. In addition to further biological material insights, our demonstration of this compositional scaling mechanism should provide inspiration for new polymer material property-control designs.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Emerging Investigators and 2014 Journal of Materials Chemistry B Hot Articles