Chemically fueled covalent crosslinking of polymer materials†
Transiently crosslinked dynamic polymer networks are developed, using carbodiimide hydration to link carboxylic acids as anhydrides. From aqueous polymer solutions, non-equilibrium hydrogels are transiently formed, which dissolve upon anhydride hydrolysis. The materials can be refueled using a subsequent injection of carbodiimide. The gels exhibit higher storage moduli compared to transient supramolecular gels as a result of their covalent crosslinks.