Adhesion of Gels by Silica Particle

In this study, a method for achieving adhesion between two positively charged gels with high mechanical strength was developed. By utilizing a silica particle dispersion as a binder, the gels easily adhered to each other and remained stable for up to 11 days when immersed in aqueous solution. The adhesion force between the two positively charged semi-interpenetrating network gels with the silica particle was measured to be up to approximately 20 kPa, which is around 10 times larger than that with a charged polymer-rich liquid as a cross-linker (approximately 1.5 kPa). It was demonstrated that the adhesion force was a result of two types of interactions: an electrostatic attractive force between the cationic gel surface and hydrogen bonding among the silica particles. In addition, it was shown that the adhesion force was dependent on solution pH, which was attributed to changes in the charge of the silica particles.