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Adv Healthc Mater. 2019 Apr 3:e1900068. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201900068. [Epub ahead of print]

Mechanical Characterization of Human Brain Tissue and Soft Dynamic Gels Exhibiting Electromechanical Neuro-Mimicry.

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Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK.
Department of Paediatrics, Addenbrooke's Hospital, University of Cambridge, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK.


Synthetic hydrogels are an important class of materials in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and other biomedical fields. Their mechanical and electrical properties can be tuned to match those of biological tissues. In this work, hydrogels that exhibit both mechanical and electrical biomimicry are reported. The presented dual networks consist of supramolecular networks formed from 2:1 homoternary complexes of imidazolium-based guest molecules in cucubit[8]uril and covalent networks of oligoethylene glycol-(di)methacrylate. The viscoelastic properties of human brain tissues are also investigated. The mechanical properties of the dual network gels are benchmarked against the human tissue, and it is found that they both are neuro-mimetic and exhibit cytocompatibility in a neural stem cell model.


biomaterials; human tissue rheology; neuro-mimicry; soft electronics; supramolecular gels


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