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Autonomic Self-Healing of Hydrogel Thin Films

Authors

  • Antoinette B. South,

    1. School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0400 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-4090
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  • L. Andrew Lyon Prof.

    1. School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0400 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-4090
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  • This work was supported by the Georgia Tech/Emory Center (GTEC) for the Engineering of Living Tissues. A.B.S. is supported in part by the TI:GER (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program at Georgia Tech.

Abstract

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Soft yet strong: Colloidal hydrogel films, which are constructed using a layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte approach, are easily damaged by mechanical disruption, but can also autonomically heal (see picture). The healing event occurs within seconds once the film has been resolvated. The lability of the coulombic interactions between hydrogel particle and linear polymer plays a direct role in its ability to self-heal.

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