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Switchable Antimicrobial and Antifouling Hydrogels with Enhanced Mechanical Properties



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New switchable hydrogels are developed. Under acidic conditions, hydrogels undergo self-cyclization and can catch and kill bacteria. Under neutral/basic conditions, hydrogels undergo ring-opening and can release killed bacterial cells and resist protein adsorption and bacterial attachment. Smart hydrogels also show a dramatically improved mechanical property, which is highly desired for biomedical applications.