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Title: Anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels

Abstract

Hydrogels reinforced by fibers can undergo remarkable anisotropic contraction triggered by external stimuli, which has a broad appeal for various applications. However, little is known about how to optimize the contraction anisotropy by tuning the microstructures of fiber-reinforced hydrogels. Here, we investigate the underlying mechanisms controlling the anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels. Using a simplified model incorporating the directional constraint of the fibers, we show that the contraction anisotropy can be substantially enhanced if the hydrogel is prestretched along the fiber direction. We further explicitly model fibers as periodically distributed cylindrical rods in the finite element simulations, and find that the contraction anisotropy can be maximized by varying the transverse fiber–fiber distance; this maximum anisotropy can be improved by reducing the longitudinal fiber–fiber distance and increasing the fiber length. Our study provides insights into designing novel fiber-reinforced hydrogels, suggesting possible applications in soft robotics, tissue engineering and beyond.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Northwestern University; Evanston; USA
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Northwestern University; Evanston; USA; Department of Chemistry
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science (CBES); Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1566643
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0000989
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Soft Matter
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 37; Journal ID: ISSN 1744-683X
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
catalysis (homogeneous), solar (photovoltaic), bio-inspired, charge transport, mesostructured materials, materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly)

Citation Formats

Liu, Shuangping, Stupp, Samuel I., and Olvera de la Cruz, Monica. Anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1039/c8sm01251b.
Liu, Shuangping, Stupp, Samuel I., & Olvera de la Cruz, Monica. Anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels. United States. doi:10.1039/c8sm01251b.
Liu, Shuangping, Stupp, Samuel I., and Olvera de la Cruz, Monica. Mon . "Anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels". United States. doi:10.1039/c8sm01251b.
@article{osti_1566643,
title = {Anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels},
author = {Liu, Shuangping and Stupp, Samuel I. and Olvera de la Cruz, Monica},
abstractNote = {Hydrogels reinforced by fibers can undergo remarkable anisotropic contraction triggered by external stimuli, which has a broad appeal for various applications. However, little is known about how to optimize the contraction anisotropy by tuning the microstructures of fiber-reinforced hydrogels. Here, we investigate the underlying mechanisms controlling the anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels. Using a simplified model incorporating the directional constraint of the fibers, we show that the contraction anisotropy can be substantially enhanced if the hydrogel is prestretched along the fiber direction. We further explicitly model fibers as periodically distributed cylindrical rods in the finite element simulations, and find that the contraction anisotropy can be maximized by varying the transverse fiber–fiber distance; this maximum anisotropy can be improved by reducing the longitudinal fiber–fiber distance and increasing the fiber length. Our study provides insights into designing novel fiber-reinforced hydrogels, suggesting possible applications in soft robotics, tissue engineering and beyond.},
doi = {10.1039/c8sm01251b},
journal = {Soft Matter},
issn = {1744-683X},
number = 37,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Review on Hydrogel-based pH Sensors and Microsensors
journal, January 2008

  • Richter, Andreas; Paschew, Georgi; Klatt, Stephan
  • Sensors, Vol. 8, Issue 1, p. 561-581
  • DOI: 10.3390/s8010561