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Nat Mater. 2016 Feb;15(2):190-6. doi: 10.1038/nmat4463. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Tough bonding of hydrogels to diverse non-porous surfaces.

Author information

1
Soft Active Materials Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

In many animals, the bonding of tendon and cartilage to bone is extremely tough (for example, interfacial toughness ∼800 J m(-2); refs ,), yet such tough interfaces have not been achieved between synthetic hydrogels and non-porous surfaces of engineered solids. Here, we report a strategy to design tough transparent and conductive bonding of synthetic hydrogels containing 90% water to non-porous surfaces of diverse solids, including glass, silicon, ceramics, titanium and aluminium. The design strategy is to anchor the long-chain polymer networks of tough hydrogels covalently to non-porous solid surfaces, which can be achieved by the silanation of such surfaces. Compared with physical interactions, the chemical anchorage results in a higher intrinsic work of adhesion and in significant energy dissipation of bulk hydrogel during detachment, which lead to interfacial toughness values over 1,000 J m(-2). We also demonstrate applications of robust hydrogel-solid hybrids, including hydrogel superglues, mechanically protective hydrogel coatings, hydrogel joints for robotic structures and robust hydrogel-metal conductors.

PMID:
26552058
PMCID:
PMC4762474
DOI:
10.1038/nmat4463
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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