“Super Jelly” can survive by being hit by a car

Credit: Zehuan Huang

Researchers have developed a jelly-like material that is as resistant as an elephant standing on it, even though it is 80% water, and can be completely restored to its original shape.

Developed by a team at the University of Cambridge, the soft and strong material looks and feels like squeeze jelly, but despite its high water content, it is super hard and acts like shatterproof glass when compressed.

The non-water portion of a material is a network of polymers that are held together by reversible on / off interactions that control the material. mechanical nature..This is the first time that such significant resistance to compression has been incorporated into. Soft material..

“Super Jelly” can be used in a wide range of potential applications such as soft robotics, bioelectronics, and even cartilage substitutes for biomedical applications.Results will be reported to the journal Nature Materials..

The behavior of a material, whether soft or hard, brittle or strong, depends on its molecular structure. Elastic rubbery hydrogels have many interesting properties that are popular research subjects, such as toughness and self-healing ability, but it is difficult to make hydrogels that can withstand compression without being crushed.

Credit: University of Cambridge

“We use two cross-linking agents to create a material with the mechanical properties we desire. molecule Dr. Zehuan Huang of the Department of Chemistry, Yusuf Hamied, the lead author of the study, said: Materials with these properties are completely counter-intuitive. “

A team working in Professor Oren Sherman’s lab, who led the study, used a barrel-shaped molecule called kukurubituril to create a hydrogel that could withstand compression. Kukurubituriru is a cross-linked molecule that holds two guest molecules in a cavity, much like a molecular handcuff. Researchers have designed guest molecules that prefer to stay in the cavity longer than usual. This keeps the polymer network tightly linked and can withstand compression.

“If the water content is 80%, I think it will burst like a water balloon, but it’s not. It can withstand huge compressive forces without being damaged,” said the director of the University’s Melville Institute for Polymer Synthesis. Sherman says. “The properties of hydrogel seem to be in conflict.”

“The way hydrogels can withstand compression was amazing, it wasn’t like what we saw with hydrogels,” said Dr. Jade McCune, also co-author of the chemistry department. .. “We also found that the compressive strength can be easily controlled by simply changing the chemical structure of the guest molecule in the handcuffs.”

To make a glass-like hydrogel, the team chose a specific guest molecule for the handcuffs. By changing the molecular structure of the guest molecules in the handcuffs, the dynamics of the material were significantly “decelerated” and the mechanical performance of the final hydrogel changed from rubbery to glassy.

Credit: Zehuan Huang

“People have spent years making rubber-like hydrogels, but that’s only half the big picture,” Scherman said. “We revisited traditional polymer physics and created a new class of materials that span all material properties, from rubber-like to glass-like, to complete the big picture.”

Researchers use materials Hydrogel A pressure sensor for monitoring human movements in real time, such as standing, walking, and jumping.

“As far as we know, this is the first time a glass-like hydrogel has been made. Not only are we writing something new in our textbooks, but it’s really exciting, but we have a new chapter in this area. It’s open. It’s a high-performance soft material. “

Researchers at Scherman Labs are currently working with engineering and materials science experts to further develop these glass-like materials for biomedical and bioelectronic applications. This study was partially funded by Leverhulme Trust and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship.

Researchers develop 3D printed jelly

For more information:
Zehuan Huang et al, Highly Compressible Glass-like Supramolecular Polymer Network, Nature Materials (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41563-021-01124-x

Quote: “Super Jelly” is a car acquired from https: // on November 25, 2021 (November 25, 2021). You can survive by being run over by

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“Super Jelly” can survive by being hit by a car

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