Navigation Links
Smart, self-healing hydrogels open far-reaching possibilities in medicine, engineering
Date:3/5/2012

University of California, San Diego bioengineers have developed a self-healing hydrogel that binds in seconds, as easily as Velcro, and forms a bond strong enough to withstand repeated stretching. The material has numerous potential applications, including medical sutures, targeted drug delivery, industrial sealants and self-healing plastics, a team of UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering researchers reported March 5 in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hydrogels are made of linked chains of polymer molecules that form a flexible, jello-like material similar to soft-tissues. Until now, researchers have been unable to develop hydrogels that can rapidly repair themselves when a cut was introduced, limiting their potential applications. The team, led by Shyni Varghese, overcame this challenge with the use of "dangling side chain" molecules that extend like fingers on a hand from the primary structure of the hydrogel network and enable them to grasp one another.

"Self-healing is one of the most fundamental properties of living tissues that allows them to sustain repeated damage," says Varghese. "Being bioengineers, one question that repeatedly appeared before us was if one could mimic self-healing in synthetic, tissue-like materials such as hydrogels. The benefits of creating such an aqueous self-healing material would be far-reaching in medicine and engineering."

To design the side chain molecules of the hydrogel that would enable rapid self-healing, Varghese and her collaborators performed computer simulations of the hydrogel network. The simulations revealed that the ability of the hydrogel to self-heal depended critically on the length of the side chain molecules, or fingers, and that hydrogels having an optimal length of side chain molecules exhibited the strongest self-healing. When two cylindrical pieces of gels featuring these optimized fingers were placed together in an acidic solution, they stuck together instantly. Varghese's lab further found that by simply adjusting the solution's pH levels up or down, the pieces weld (low pH) and separate (high pH) very easily. The process was successfully repeated numerous times without any reduction in the weld strength.

Ameya Phadke, a fourth year PhD student in Varghese's lab said the hydrogel's strength and flexibility in an acidic environment similar to that of the stomach makes it ideal as an adhesive to heal stomach perforations or for controlled drug delivery to ulcers.

Such healing material could also be useful in the field of energy conservation and recycling where self-healing materials could help reduce industrial and consumer waste, according to Varghese. Additionally, the rapidity of self-healing in response to acids makes the material a promising candidate to seal leakages from containers containing corrosive acids. To test this theory, her lab cut a hole in the bottom of a plastic container, "healed" it by sealing the hole with the hydrogel and demonstrated that it prevented any leakage of acid through the hole.

Moving forward, Varghese and her lab hope to test the material in its envisioned applications on a larger scale. The team also hopes to engineer other varieties of hydrogels that self-heal at different pH values, thereby extending the applications of such hydrogels beyond acidic conditions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Hockmuth
chockmuth@ucsd.edu
858-822-1359
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Only the weak survive?: Pitt team adds more give for stronger self-healing materials
2. Hydrogels used to make precise new sensor
3. New Class of Stem Cell-Like Cells Discovered in Spinal Cord Offers Possibilities for Spinal Cord Repair
4. AllograftPossibilities.org Meets Unmet Need for Consumer-Oriented Information on Tissue Donation, Transplantation on the Internet
5. Defect in graphene may present bouquet of possibilities
6. Earthshaking possibilities may limit underground storage of carbon dioxide
7. NORTHWEST BIO Will Present at the Second Annual "Cancer Immunotherapy: A Long Awaited Reality Conference" at the New York Academy of Medicine, October 6, 2011
8. Rules-Based Medicine, Inc. (RBM) Partners with Institut Pasteur to Boost Innovation in Translational Research
9. Penn-led collaboration mimics library of bio-membranes for use in nanomedicine, drug delivery
10. Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine, Genzyme Enter into Strategic Partnership
11. Harbinger Research Initiates Coverage on China Baicaotang Medicine, Ltd.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Smart, self-healing hydrogels open far-reaching possibilities in medicine, engineering 
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... A best-selling author ... tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her team at Character Lab have ... Cooley, an international law firm with decades of experience supporting high-growth companies in ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... The new and improved Oakton® pocket testers, from Cole-Parmer, ... upright with a new cap design that is versatile, functional and leakproof. They are ... to test water quality. , The Oakton pocket testers have many user-friendly and functional ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., the ... is pleased to announce the strategic partnership with VTI ... clients with validation services using the latest technology available ... will provide clients with efficient and cost-effective validation services ... partner for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Molecular Devices, ... with Cytena GmbH to launch the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ in North America. ... single cells and provide visual documentation of monoclonality for use in cell line ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/13/2017)... PUNE, India , April 13, 2017 According ... Identity Proofing, Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication ... by MarketsandMarkets™, the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 ... Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance ... Gino ... we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):