Polysaccharide-based recoverable double-network hydrogel with high strength and self-healing properties†
Polysaccharide-based hydrogels (PSBHs) have received significant attention for numerous bio-applications due to their biocompatibility and non-immunogenic performance. However, the construction of PSBH with superior mechanical properties by a simple method is rarely adequately researched. This study focuses on the construction of a novel PSBH with superior mechanical and recoverable properties by integrating the synergistic and complementary interactions of covalent bond-associated oxidized sodium alginate (SA-CHO) gel and hydrogen bond-associated agarose (Aga) gel. With the synergy and complementarity of the SA-CHO and Aga networks, the hydrogel exhibited 17 and 15 times (20 and 9 times) greater compressive stress and modulus, respectively, compared with the SA-CHO gel (Aga gel). The hydrogel also displayed excellent fatigue resistance, recurrent shapeability, acid resistance and recovery ability, as well as self-healing ability. This study provides a unique perspective for enhancing the mechanical properties of PSBH through the synergy and complementarity of different kinds of polysaccharides without sacrificing the functionality of the PSBH.