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Issue 20, 2020
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Developing super tough gelatin-based hydrogels by incorporating linear poly(methacrylic acid) to facilitate sacrificial hydrogen bonding

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Abstract

Mechanically robust protein-based hydrogels are strongly desired but their construction remains a significant challenge. In this work, gelatin, together with methacrylic acid, is used to construct a novel hydrogen-bonded hydrogel through a facile low-temperature polymerization and a subsequent dry–swell process. The obtained gel is extremely stiff and tough with a high Young's modulus and a fracture energy of 11 MPa and 8.5 kJ m−2, respectively, which are comparable to the performance of tough synthetic hydrogels, rubber, cartilage, and skin. These gels also show recovery and healing properties as well as biocompatibility and stability in physiological saline solutions. The gel is easy to prepare and exhibits a wide range of functional properties, making it a promising load-bearing material for medical applications.

Graphical abstract: Developing super tough gelatin-based hydrogels by incorporating linear poly(methacrylic acid) to facilitate sacrificial hydrogen bonding

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
10 Mar 2020
Accepted
01 May 2020
First published
04 May 2020

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 4723-4727
Article type
Communication

Developing super tough gelatin-based hydrogels by incorporating linear poly(methacrylic acid) to facilitate sacrificial hydrogen bonding

H. J. Zhang, L. Wang, X. Wang, Q. Han and X. You, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 4723
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM00422G

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