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Issue 13, 2020
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A nonswellable gradient hydrogel with tunable mechanical properties

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Abstract

Susceptibility of traditional hydrogels to water leads to the deterioration of their mechanical properties and dimensional instability. Inspired by bone tissues, here, we report a nonswellable gradient hydrogel with adjustable mechanical properties via a simple acid-heat treatment of polyamide-based hydrogels. Both the hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity and crosslinking degree of the gel can be simultaneously regulated by taking advantage of the conversion of amide groups to imide groups in the hydrogel. A gradient imide structure is formed with a dense layer near the surface of the gel. The resultant hydrogel has no size change both in water and 0.9 wt% NaCl solution while it shows high strength with a compressive stress of 70 MPa at 70% strain at a higher imidization degree. At a lower imidization degree, the gel has excellent fatigue resistance and resilience and can return to its original state after 5 cycles of 90% strain.

Graphical abstract: A nonswellable gradient hydrogel with tunable mechanical properties

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Article information


Submitted
04 Feb 2020
Accepted
21 Feb 2020
First published
22 Feb 2020

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020,8, 2702-2708
Article type
Paper

A nonswellable gradient hydrogel with tunable mechanical properties

P. Xu, H. Xu, Y. Yang, X. Wang, W. An, Y. Hu and S. Xu, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, 8, 2702
DOI: 10.1039/D0TB00296H

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