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A 3D Printable and Mechanically Robust Hydrogel Based on Alginate and Graphene Oxide

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journal contribution
posted on 08.11.2017, 00:00 authored by Sijun Liu, Anil Kumar Bastola, Lin Li
Sodium alginate (SA) was used for the first time to noncovalently functionalize amino-graphene oxide (aGO) to produce the SA-functionalized GO, A-aGO. A-aGO was then filled into a double-network (DN) hydrogel consisting of an alginate network (SA) and a polyacrylamide (PAAm) network. Before UV curing, A-aGO was able to provide the SA/PAAm DN hydrogel with a remarkable thixotropic property, which is desirable for 3D printing. Thus, the A-aGO-filled DN hydrogel could be nicely used as an “ink” of a 3D printer to print complicated 3D structures with a high stackability and high shape fidelity. After UV curing, the 3D-printed A-aGO filled DN hydrogel showed robust mechanical strength and great toughness. For the function of A-aGO it was considered that A-aGO acted as a secondary but physical cross-linker, not only to give the hydrogel a satisfactory thixotropic property but also to increase the energy dissipation by combining the physical SA network and the chemical PAAm network. As an exciting result we successfully developed a 3D printable and mechanically robust hydrogel.