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Issue 18, 2018
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Super tough magnetic hydrogels for remotely triggered shape morphing

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Despite their potential in various fields such as soft robots, drug delivery and biomedical engineering, magnetic hydrogels have always been limited by their poor mechanical properties. Here a universal soaking strategy has been presented to synthesize tough magnetic nanocomposite (NC) hydrogels. We can simultaneously solve two common issues for magnetic hydrogels: the poor mechanical properties and poor distribution of magnetic particles. The toughness of the magnetic NC hydrogel achieves approximately 11 000 J m−2. The outstanding properties of tough magnetic hydrogels will enable myriad applications. Here we demonstrate a new application for remotely triggered shape morphing. Heterogeneous structures based on magnetic hydrogels are shown to evolve into bio-inspired three-dimensional (3D) shapes (lotus flowers) from 2D-structured sheets. The self-folding of the structure is controlled by the magnetothermal effect in an alternating magnetic field. The capability to control the shape morphing of a multi-material system by a magnetic field may emerge as a new general strategy for programming complex soft structures.

Graphical abstract: Super tough magnetic hydrogels for remotely triggered shape morphing

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Mar 2018, accepted on 03 Apr 2018 and first published on 04 Apr 2018

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8TB00568K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018,6, 2713-2722
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    Super tough magnetic hydrogels for remotely triggered shape morphing

    J. Tang, Z. Tong, Y. Xia, M. Liu, Z. Lv, Y. Gao, T. Lu, S. Xie, Y. Pei, D. Fang and T. J. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018, 6, 2713
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TB00568K

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