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Self-Helical Fiber for Glucose-Responsive Artificial Muscle

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posted on 2020-04-21, 15:39 authored by Hyeon Jun Sim, Yongwoo Jang, Hyunsoo Kim, Jung Gi Choi, Jong Woo Park, Dong Yeop Lee, Seon Jeong Kim
A helical configuration confers a great advantage in artificial muscle due to great movement potential. However, most helical fibers are exposed to a high temperature to produce the coiled helical structure. Hence, thermoset polymer-composed hydrogels are difficult to fabricate as helical fibers due to their thermal degeneration. Here, we describe a self-helical hydrogel fiber that is produced without thermal exposure as a glucose-responsive artificial muscle. The sheath–core fiber was spontaneously transformed into the helical structure during the swelling state by balancing the forces between the untwisting force of the twisted nylon fiber core and the recovery force of the hydrogel sheath. To induce controllable actuation, we also applied a reversible interaction between phenylboronic acid and glucose to the self-helical hydrogel. Consequently, the maximum tensile stroke was 2.3%, and the performance was six times greater than that of the nonhelical fiber. The fiber also exhibited tensile stroke with load and a maximum work density of 130 kJ/m3. Furthermore, we showed a reversible tensile stroke in response to the change in glucose level. Therefore, these results indicate that the self-helical hydrogel fiber has a high potential for use in artificial muscles, glucose sensors, and drug delivery systems.

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