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Issue 45, 2019
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A highly stretchable, ultra-tough, remarkably tolerant, and robust self-healing glycerol-hydrogel for a dual-responsive soft actuator

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Abstract

Stimuli-responsive devices based on stretchable, tough, tolerant, and self-healing hydrogels are critical to fabricate soft actuators but it remains a formidable challenge to develop them. Herein, a novel strategy is demonstrated to meet this challenge by incorporating functionalized boron nitride nanosheets (nano-reinforcing domains) into poly(acrylamide-co-maleic anhydride) (soft elastin matrix) hydrogel followed by glycerol–water post-treatment. The resultant glycerol-hydrogel exhibited high stretchability (strain at break up to 2700%), outstanding tensile strength and toughness (up to 2.8 MPa and 19.3 MJ m−3, respectively), long-term dehydration resistance to high temperature (60 °C), and excellent anti-freezing properties at low temperature (−45 °C). Furthermore, excellent self-healing capability was demonstrated by the healing of the hydrogel after three months of storage at temperatures as low as −45 °C. By taking advantage of the outstanding dehydration resistance of the glycerol-hydrogel, dual responsive actuating devices were designed based on bilayer hydrogels to grip, release, and drive a ball under different stimuli. Thus, this work not only inspires the design and fabrication of high-performance hydrogels but also broadens their applications in soft robotics, bioactuators, and other areas.

Graphical abstract: A highly stretchable, ultra-tough, remarkably tolerant, and robust self-healing glycerol-hydrogel for a dual-responsive soft actuator

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Sep 2019, accepted on 28 Oct 2019 and first published on 28 Oct 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA10183G
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019,7, 25969-25977

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    A highly stretchable, ultra-tough, remarkably tolerant, and robust self-healing glycerol-hydrogel for a dual-responsive soft actuator

    M. Guo, Y. Wu, S. Xue, Y. Xia, X. Yang, Y. Dzenis, Z. Li, W. Lei, A. T. Smith and L. Sun, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, 7, 25969
    DOI: 10.1039/C9TA10183G

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