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      Bioinspired tough, conductive hydrogels with thermally reversible adhesiveness based on nanoclay confined NIPAM polymerization and a dopamine modified polypeptide

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          Abstract

          A multifunctional conductive hydrogel with controllable adhesiveness, high strechability and excellent biocompatibility based on PDAEA, clay, and PNIPAM.

          Abstract

          Hydrogels with excellent conductivity and flexibility have a wide range of applications in the biomedical field, such as in wearable devices, soft electronic skins, and biosensors. Inspired by marine mussels, a biocompatible hydrogel with controllable adhesiveness and a wearable strain-sensor were successfully prepared by polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) and a dopamine-modified polypeptide (PDAEA). The PNIPAM-clay-PDAEA hydrogel displayed repeatable and controllable adhesiveness due to the presence of free catechol groups in the PDAEA chains and the intrinsic thermo-sensitivity of the PNIPAM-based hydrogel. These materials also exhibited outstanding strain and pressure sensitive conductivity, which could be ascribed to a sufficient number of free moving ions in the hydrogel system. Test results showed that these conductive hydrogels possessed excellent biocompatibility, stable drug release behavior, and improved cell proliferation. Therefore, the as-prepared nanocomposite hydrogel has great potential applications as a wearable soft electronic skin and in tissue engineering.

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          Most cited references40

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          Mussel-inspired surface chemistry for multifunctional coatings.

          We report a method to form multifunctional polymer coatings through simple dip-coating of objects in an aqueous solution of dopamine. Inspired by the composition of adhesive proteins in mussels, we used dopamine self-polymerization to form thin, surface-adherent polydopamine films onto a wide range of inorganic and organic materials, including noble metals, oxides, polymers, semiconductors, and ceramics. Secondary reactions can be used to create a variety of ad-layers, including self-assembled monolayers through deposition of long-chain molecular building blocks, metal films by electroless metallization, and bioinert and bioactive surfaces via grafting of macromolecules.
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            A reversible wet/dry adhesive inspired by mussels and geckos.

            The adhesive strategy of the gecko relies on foot pads composed of specialized keratinous foot-hairs called setae, which are subdivided into terminal spatulae of approximately 200 nm (ref. 1). Contact between the gecko foot and an opposing surface generates adhesive forces that are sufficient to allow the gecko to cling onto vertical and even inverted surfaces. Although strong, the adhesion is temporary, permitting rapid detachment and reattachment of the gecko foot during locomotion. Researchers have attempted to capture these properties of gecko adhesive in synthetic mimics with nanoscale surface features reminiscent of setae; however, maintenance of adhesive performance over many cycles has been elusive, and gecko adhesion is greatly diminished upon full immersion in water. Here we report a hybrid biologically inspired adhesive consisting of an array of nanofabricated polymer pillars coated with a thin layer of a synthetic polymer that mimics the wet adhesive proteins found in mussel holdfasts. Wet adhesion of the nanostructured polymer pillar arrays increased nearly 15-fold when coated with mussel-mimetic polymer. The system maintains its adhesive performance for over a thousand contact cycles in both dry and wet environments. This hybrid adhesive, which combines the salient design elements of both gecko and mussel adhesives, should be useful for reversible attachment to a variety of surfaces in any environment.
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              An electrically and mechanically self-healing composite with pressure- and flexion-sensitive properties for electronic skin applications.

              Pressure sensitivity and mechanical self-healing are two vital functions of the human skin. A flexible and electrically conducting material that can sense mechanical forces and yet be able to self-heal repeatably can be of use in emerging fields such as soft robotics and biomimetic prostheses, but combining all these properties together remains a challenging task. Here, we describe a composite material composed of a supramolecular organic polymer with embedded nickel nanostructured microparticles, which shows mechanical and electrical self-healing properties at ambient conditions. We also show that our material is pressure- and flexion-sensitive, and therefore suitable for electronic skin applications. The electrical conductivity can be tuned by varying the amount of nickel particles and can reach values as high as 40 S cm(-1). On rupture, the initial conductivity is repeatably restored with ∼90% efficiency after 15 s healing time, and the mechanical properties are completely restored after ∼10 min. The composite resistance varies inversely with applied flexion and tactile forces. These results demonstrate that natural skin's repeatable self-healing capability can be mimicked in conductive and piezoresistive materials, thus potentially expanding the scope of applications of current electronic skin systems.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                MCFAC5
                Materials Chemistry Frontiers
                Mater. Chem. Front.
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                2052-1537
                2020
                2020
                : 4
                : 1
                : 189-196
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Key Laboratory of Functional Polymer Materials
                [2 ]Institute of Polymer Chemistry
                [3 ]College of Chemistry
                [4 ]Nankai University
                [5 ]Tianjin 300071
                Article
                10.1039/C9QM00582J
                0f668c19-111c-4699-bac7-64dc008a62de
                © 2020

                http://rsc.li/journals-terms-of-use

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