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    Skin-inspired hydrogel-elastomer hybrids with robust interfaces and functional microstructures  
    Hyunwoo Yuk(Soft Active Materials Lab., MIT)
    United States | Nature Communications
    2016-06-27 | 바로가기
    hydrogel_elastomer
    Cited by 300

    ■  View full text

    Nature Communications

    Published: 27 June 2016

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms12028 

     

     

    ■  Researchers

    Hyunwoo Yuk1, Teng Zhang2, German Alberto Parada1, Xinyue Liu1 & Xuanhe Zhao1

     

    1  Department of Mechanical Engineering, Soft Active Materials Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University

     

     

    ■  Abstract

    Inspired by mammalian skins, soft hybrids integrating the merits of elastomers and hydrogels have potential applications in diverse areas including stretchable and bio-integrated electronics, microfluidics, tissue engineering, soft robotics and biomedical devices. However, existing hydrogel–elastomer hybrids have limitations such as weak interfacial bonding, low robustness and difficulties in patterning microstructures. Here, we report a simple yet versatile method to assemble hydrogels and elastomers into hybrids with extremely robust interfaces (interfacial toughness over 1,000 Jm−2) and functional microstructures such as microfluidic channels and electrical circuits. The proposed method is generally applicable to various types of tough hydrogels and diverse commonly used elastomers including polydimethylsiloxane Sylgard 184, polyurethane, latex, VHB and Ecoflex. We further demonstrate applications enabled by the robust and microstructured hydrogel–elastomer hybrids including anti-dehydration hydrogel–elastomer hybrids, stretchable and reactive hydrogel–elastomer microfluidics, and stretchable hydrogel circuit boards patterned on elastomer.

     

     

     

    ■  Results

    Fabrication of hydrogel–elastomer hybrids

    Although hydrogels and elastomers have been widely used in diverse technologies1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21, they still cannot be integrated into hybrid structures with robust interfaces and functional microstructures, mainly due to challenges including elastomer surfaces’ inhibition of polymer crosslinking and grafting, and fluidic characters of pre-gel solutions and/or pre-elastomer resins that diminish interfacial microstructures during the formation of hybrids. To address these challenges, we propose a simple yet versatile method to assemble pre-shaped elastomers and hydrogels into hybrids with robust interfaces and functional microstructures (Fig. 1a–c).

     

     

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