Smart Composite Hydrogels with pH-Responsiveness and Electrical Conductivity for Flexible Sensors and Logic Gates.
ABSTRACT: Stimuli-responsive conductive hydrogels have a wide range of applications due to their intelligent sensing of external environmental changes, which are important for smart switches, soft robotics, and flexible sensors. However, designing stimuli-responsive conductive hydrogels with logical operation, such as smart switches, remains a challenge. In this study, we synthesized pH-responsive conductive hydrogels, based on the copolymer network of acrylic acid and hydroxyethyl acrylate doped with graphene oxide. Using the good flexibility and conductivity of these hydrogels, we prepared a flexible sensor that can realize the intelligent analysis of human body motion signals. Moreover, the pH-responsive conductive hydrogels were integrated with temperature-responsive conductive hydrogels to develop logic gates with sensing, analysis, and driving functions, which realized the intellectualization of conductive hydrogels.
Project description:Smart hydrogels, or stimuli-responsive hydrogels, are three-dimensional networks composed of crosslinked hydrophilic polymer chains that are able to dramatically change their volume and other properties in response to environmental stimuli such as temperature, pH and certain chemicals. Rapid and significant response to environmental stimuli and high elasticity are critical for the versatility of such smart hydrogels. Here we report the synthesis of smart hydrogels which are rapidly responsive, highly swellable and stretchable, by constructing a nano-structured architecture with activated nanogels as nano-crosslinkers. The nano-structured smart hydrogels show very significant and rapid stimuli-responsive characteristics, as well as highly elastic properties to sustain high compressions, resist slicing and withstand high level of deformation, such as bending, twisting and extensive stretching. Because of the concurrent rapid and significant stimuli-response and high elasticity, these nano-structured smart hydrogels may expand the scope of hydrogel applications, and provide enhanced performance in their applications.
Project description:Stimuli-responsive color-changing hydrogels, commonly colored using embedded photonic crystals (PCs), have potential applications ranging from chemical sensing to camouflage and anti-counterfeiting. A major limitation in these PC hydrogels is that they require significant deformation (>20%) in order to change the PC lattice constant and generate an observable chromatic shift (?100 nm). By analyzing the mechanism of how chameleon skin changes color, we developed a strain-accommodating smart skin (SASS), which maintains near-constant size during chromatic shifting. SASS is composed of two types of hydrogels: a stimuli-responsive, PC-containing hydrogel that is patterned within a second hydrogel with robust mechanical properties, which permits strain accommodation. In contrast to conventional "accordion"-type PC responsive hydrogels, SASS maintains near-constant volume during chromatic shifting. Importantly, SASS materials are stretchable (strain ?150%), amenable to patterning, spectrally tunable, and responsive to both heat and natural sunlight. We demonstrate examples of using SASS for biomimicry. Our strategy, to embed responsive materials within a mechanically matched scaffolding polymer, provides a general framework to guide the future design of artificial smart skins.
Project description:Hydrogels that change volume in response to specific molecular stimuli can serve as platforms for sensors, actuators and drug delivery devices. There is great interest in designing intelligent hydrogels for tissue engineering, drug delivery, and microfluidics that utilize protein binding specificities and conformational changes. Protein conformational change induced by ligand binding can cause volume phase transitions (VPTs). Here, we develop a highly selective glucose sensing protein photonic crystal (PC) hydrogel that is fabricated from genetically engineered E. coli glucose/galactose binding protein (GGBP). The resulting 2-D PC-GGBP hydrogel undergoes a VPT in response to glucose. The volume change causes the 2-D PC array particle spacing to decrease, leading to a blue-shifted diffraction which enables our sensors to report on glucose concentrations. This 2-D PC-GGBP responsive hydrogel functions as a selective and sensitive sensor that easily monitors glucose concentrations from ?0.2 ?M to ?10 mM. This work demonstrates a proof-of-concept for developing responsive, "smart" protein hydrogel materials with VPTs that utilize ligand binding induced protein conformational changes. This innovation may enable the development of other novel chemical sensors and high-throughput screening devices that can monitor protein-drug binding interactions.
Project description:Hydrogels have received considerable attention due to their potential applications in the fields of drug delivery, tissue engineering, and stimuli-responsive devices. Nonetheless, it is still a great difficulty in designing hydrogels with multifunctional characteristics including excellent antibacterial activity and appropriate mechanical and remarkable sensing properties. In the present study, a novel type of organic-inorganic adhesive is demonstrated, which comprises inorganic matter of amorphous calcium phosphate particles and organic substances of poly(acrylic acid) and chitosan. The hydrogel possesses excellent biocompatible and antibacterial activity, unique viscoelastic properties, high quantity of drug load, and remarkably sensitive pressure sensing, which have potential use as antibacterial biomaterials, artificially intelligent skins, and drug delivery carriers.
Project description:The sensing module that converts physical or chemical stimuli into electrical signals is the core of future smart electronics in the post-Moore era. Challenges lie in the realization and integration of different detecting functions on a single chip. We propose a new design of on-chip construction for low-power consumption sensor, which is based on the optoelectronic detection mechanism with external stimuli and compatible with CMOS technology. A combination of flipped silicon nanomembrane phototransistors and stimuli-responsive materials presents low-power consumption (CMOS level) and demonstrates great functional expansibility of sensing targets, e.g., hydrogen concentration and relative humidity. With a device-first, wafer-compatible process introduced for large-scale silicon flexible electronics, our work shows great potential in the development of flexible and integrated smart sensing systems for the realization of Internet of Things applications.
Project description:Cellulose is the most abundant biomass material in nature, and possesses some promising properties, such as mechanical robustness, hydrophilicity, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. Thus, cellulose has been widely applied in many fields. "Smart" materials based on cellulose have great advantages-especially their intelligent behaviors in reaction to environmental stimuli-and they can be applied to many circumstances, especially as biomaterials. This review aims to present the developments of "smart" materials based on cellulose in the last decade, including the preparations, properties, and applications of these materials. The preparations of "smart" materials based on cellulose by chemical modifications and physical incorporating/blending were reviewed. The responsiveness to pH, temperature, light, electricity, magnetic fields, and mechanical forces, etc. of these "smart" materials in their different forms such as copolymers, nanoparticles, gels, and membranes were also reviewed, and the applications as drug delivery systems, hydrogels, electronic active papers, sensors, shape memory materials and smart membranes, etc. were also described in this review.
Project description:Skin-like temperature- and pressure-sensing capabilities are essential features for the next generation of artificial intelligent products. Previous studies of e-skin and smart elements have focused on flexible pressure sensors, whereas the simultaneous and sensitive detection of temperature and pressure with a single device remains a challenge. Here we report developing flexible dual-parameter temperature-pressure sensors based on microstructure-frame-supported organic thermoelectric (MFSOTE) materials. The effective transduction of temperature and pressure stimuli into two independent electrical signals permits the instantaneous sensing of temperature and pressure with an accurate temperature resolution of <0.1?K and a high-pressure-sensing sensitivity of up to 28.9?kPa(-1). More importantly, these dual-parameter sensors can be self-powered with outstanding sensing performance. The excellent sensing properties of MFSOTE-based devices, together with their unique advantages of low cost and large-area fabrication, make MFSOTE materials possess promising applications in e-skin and health-monitoring elements.
Project description:This letter reports on a novel cost-efficient and multifunctional barcode-like sensors array (BLSA) printed with a conductive bioinspired smart ink. The conductive ink (P@G ink), which can be further chemically engineered with different organic ligands, was generated via facile one-pot hydrothermal reduction of graphene oxide (GO) in dopamine (DA) as coreductan Usingvarious chemical derivatives of the P@G inks on a flexible substrate (e.g., Kapton), a highly integrated BLSA as well as smart nose/tongue mimic array were generated for simultaneous sensing and distinguishing of complex physical and chemical stimuli, including temperature, light, air pressure, relative humidity, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Due to these very attractive features, the reported P@G ink-based BLSA would have the potential for unique opportunities regarding "all-in-one"-yet cost-effective-disposable electronics and sensors.
Project description:Dual-function hydrogels, possessing both stimuli-responsive and self-healing properties, have recently attracted attention of both chemists and materials scientists. Here we report a new paradigm using natural polymer (guar gum, GG) and sodium borohydride (NaBH4), for the preparation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs)-containing smart hydrogels in a simple, fast and economical way. NaBH4 performs as a reducing agent for AgNPs synthesis using silver nitrate (AgNO3) as the precursor. Meanwhile, sodium metaborate (NaBO2) (from NaBH4) behaves as a cross-linking agent between GG molecular chains. The AgNPs/GG hydrogels with excellent viscoelastic properties can be obtained within 3?min at room temperature without the addition of other cross-linkers. The resultant AgNPs/GG hydrogels are flowable and injectable, and they possess excellent pH/thermal responsive properties. Additionally, they exhibit rapid self-healing capacity. This work introduces a facile and scale-up way to prepare a class of hydrogels that can have great potential to biomedical and other industrial applications.
Project description:A smart nanofluidic device attracts attention as it enables to control the physicochemical properties and transportation phenomena, by using stimuli-responsive materials. This work reports a bioinspired modification of a conical ion track-etched polyethylene terephthalate nanopore surface by coating a layer of poly-l-lysine (PLL), which is a commonly used coating in biotechnology to achieve a dual-responsive nanofluidic channel by pH or temperature. The rectification of ionic transportation can be reversed by assembling PLL because of the change of surface bonds from the carboxyl to amine group. The PLL-modified nanopore becomes nonconductive as an "OFF" state at pH 11.5 and at a temperature of 70 °C in solution. The ionic transport in nanopores can be switched to the "ON" (conductive) state, by either decreasing pH or temperature. The transitions between "ON" and "OFF" states present excellent reversibility, which make the PLL-modified nanopores a promising smart nanofluidic device that can be used for drug delivery or biomimic ion/mass transport in future, besides the good biocompatibility and ease of use of PLL modification.