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Issue 14, 2020
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Host–guest interaction-mediated fabrication of a hybrid microsphere-structured supramolecular hydrogel showing high mechanical strength

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Abstract

The introduction of structured microsphere composites into hydrogels is found to improve their mechanical strength capability. Herein, chitosan microspheres were functionalized with poly(acrylamide-co-1-benzyl-3-vinylimidazolium bromide) (CS–P(AM–G)), which was synthesized through an in situ copolymerization of acrylamide and a guest functional monomer. Supramolecular hydrogels were fabricated by dynamic host–guest interactions between guest units and the host molecule cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]). Investigations on the mechanical properties of the hydrogels show that the tensile stress and the compress stress of the hydrogels are five times higher than those of CB[8] hydrogels without CS, and the healing efficiency of the hydrogels at room temperature is 88% after 24 h. The results show that CS microspheres serve as both polyfunctional initiating and cross-linking centers, whereas the dynamic host–guest interactions endow the hydrogels with a higher self-healing property. The process provides a novel method for the production of tough and self-healing supramolecular hydrogels with various potential applications.

Graphical abstract: Host–guest interaction-mediated fabrication of a hybrid microsphere-structured supramolecular hydrogel showing high mechanical strength

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 Feb 2020
Accepted
08 Mar 2020
First published
09 Mar 2020

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 3416-3424
Article type
Paper

Host–guest interaction-mediated fabrication of a hybrid microsphere-structured supramolecular hydrogel showing high mechanical strength

X. Zhang, Y. Liu, J. Wen, Z. Zhao, H. Chen, X. Liu and S. Liu, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 3416
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM00271B

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