Predicting the orientation of magnetic microgel rods for soft anisotropic biomimetic hydrogels†
Living multicellular organisms comprise a high degree of soft anisotropic tissues but the development of controlled artificial assembly processes to mimic them remains challenging. Therefore, injectable, polymeric, magneto-responsive microgel rods are fabricated to orient within a low magnetic field. The incorporated superparamagnetic nanoparticles induce local dipole moments, resulting in a total magnetic torque that endows microgels with different structural, mechanical, and biochemical properties. In this report, a predictive macroscopic model based on an ellipsoidal element dispersed in a Newtonian fluid is adjusted using experimental data, which enables the prediction of the orientation rate and the required magnetic field strength for various microgel design parameters and fluid viscosities. The ordered microgels are fixed by crosslinking of a surrounding hydrogel, and can be employed for a wide variety of applications where anisotropic composite hydrogels play a crucial role; for instance as adaptive materials or in biomedical applications, wherein the model predictions can reduce animal experiments.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigators