Hydrogels toughened by biominerals providing energy-dissipative sacrificial bonds†
Inspired by bone tissues, we mineralized low crystalline hydroxyapatite (HAp) particles in double network (DN) hydrogels, and we observed that the HAp minerals toughen the gels. The contribution of dissipated energy from HAp minerals was over 500% higher than that from the polymer during tensile deformation. We elucidated that the amorphous parts in the HAp minerals break at deformation, acting as energy-dissipative sacrificial bonds. This result implies that not only brittle polymer networks but also minerals can provide sacrificial bonds to toughen soft materials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry B HOT Papers