Project Overview

Inspired by natural plants, thermoresponding hydrogel (TRH) structures have been designed to trigger mechanical instability with fast actuation. Tough Ca-alginate/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) hydrogel has been synthesized by the hybrid of physically cross-linked alginate and covalently cross-linked PNIPAM. The tough Ca-alginate/PNIPAM hydrogel exhibits 30 kPa of elastic modulus, 280 J/m2 of fracture energies, and fivefold of uniaxial stretch. A multilayered structure made of (Ca-alginate/PNIPAM)/(Ca-alginate/poly (acrylamide)) hydrogels demonstrate fast actuation induced by mechanical instability.