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Chem Mater. 2013 Oct 26;25(22):4551-4556.

Thermoresponsive composite hydrogels with aligned macroporous structure by ice-templated assembly.

Author information

  • 1Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States.

Abstract

Natural tissues, such as bone, tendon, and muscle, have well defined hierarchical structures, which are crucial for their biological and mechanical functions. However, mimicking these structural features still remains a great challenge. In this study, we use ice-templated assembly and UV-initiated cryo-polymerization to fabricate a novel kind of composite hydrogel which have both aligned macroporous structure at micrometer scale and a nacre-like layered structure at nanoscale. Such hydrogels are macroporous, thermoresponsive, and exhibit excellent mechanical performance (tough and high stretchable), attractive properties that are of significant impact on the wide applications of composite hydrogels, especially as tissue-engineering scaffolds. The fabrication method in this study including freeze-casting and cryo-polymerization can also be applied to other materials, which makes it promising for designing and developing smart and multifunctional composite hydrogels with hierar chical structures.

KEYWORDS:

bio inspired; composite; freeze casting; hydrogel; nacre

PMID:
24489436
PMCID:
PMC3904501
DOI:
10.1021/cm4025827
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