Tags: rutgers | printing | hydrogels

Rutgers Printing Hydrogels Via 3-D, Opening New Doors

Image: Rutgers Printing Hydrogels Via 3-D, Opening New Doors

A tiny hydrogel chess king contains 73 percent water but remains solid. (Daehoon Han/Rutgers University-New Brunswick)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 January 2018 06:19 PM

Rutgers engineers have discovered a way to print hydrogels that change shape and size as temperatures change, giving them an almost 4-D printing approach that could have applications for medical advances and other technologies.

A study published Tuesday in Scientific Reports showed the hydrogels could be printed quickly and inexpensively with a 3-D printer.

Hydrogels have been used for decades as biomedical technology like scaffolds for cells to grow on and for other uses, but have had to be manufactured using cumbersome molds and lithography. The 3-D process will allow for more versatile use of the hydrogels and expand the ways they can be used, according to New Jersey Patch.

Part of the process involved figuring out how to print the gels, and part of it was about learning to control the way the gels change size and shape so they could be used predictably for medical and other applications, Rutgers said on its website

“The full potential of this smart hydrogel has not been unleased until now,” senior author and Rutgers Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering assistant professor Howon Lee said. “We added another dimension to it, and this is the first time anybody has done it on this scale. They’re flexible, shape-morphing materials. I like to call them smart materials.” 

Lee attributed the control over the shape to the ability to give it a particular function.

“I think that’s the power of 3-D printing of shape-shifting material. You can apply this principle almost everywhere,” he said on the Rutgers website. 

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Rutgers is printing smart hydrogels that change shape and size as temperatures change, giving them an almost 4-D printing approach that could have applications for medical advances and other technologies.
rutgers, printing, hydrogels
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2018-19-31
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 06:19 PM
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