Novel Hydrogel Actuator Inspired by Reversible Mussel Adhesive Protein Chemistry

January 22, 2014

Man-made machines are composed mainly of hard materials (e.g., mechanical joints, electric motors), which can be disadvantageous in applications that require handling materials that are soft, fragile, or complex in shape. Soft machines are found in animals and plants that provide locomotion and autonomous motion (e.g., muscle tissues), and the ability to adapt to environmental stimuli (e.g., rotation toward the sun) that are critical to the survival and function of these organisms. Hydrogels that can change their shape and properties in response to environmental stimuli (e.g., temperature, pH, humidity) are currently being explored as soft robotic components, biosensors, and controlled drug delivery applications. We are developing hydrogel actuators that can respond to multiple environmental stimuli using reversible chemistry that contributes to the wear resistance properties of the protective coatings on mussel byssus threads.


Related Publications:

BP Lee* and S Konst “Novel Hydrogel Actuator Inspired by Reversible Mussel Adhesive Protein Chemistry”. Advanced Materials, 26 (21), 3451-3419, 2014. [Link]

BP Lee,* M-H Lin, A Narkar, S Konst, and R Wilharm “Modulating the movement of hydrogel actuator based on catechol-iron ion coordination chemistry”. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 206, 456-462, 2015. [Link]

BP Lee,* A Narkar, and R Wilharm “Effect of Metal Ion Type on the Movement of Hydrogel Actuator based on Catechol-Metal Ion Coordination Chemistry”. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 227, 248-254, 2016. [Link]


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