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Adhesive Tough Magnetic Hydrogels with High Fe3O4 Content

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posted on 18.02.2019, 00:00 by Xiaocheng Hu, Guodong Nian, Xueya Liang, Lei Wu, Tenghao Yin, Haotian Lu, Shaoxing Qu, Wei Yang
Magnetic hydrogels have promising applications in flexible electronics, biomedical devices, and soft robotics. However, most existing magnetic hydrogels are fragile and suffer insufficient magnetic response. In this paper, we present a new approach to fabricate a strong, tough, and adhesive magnetic hydrogel with nontoxic polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogel as the matrix and the functional additive [3-(trimethoxysilyl)­propyl methacrylate coated Fe3O4] as the inclusions. This magnetic hydrogel not only offers a relatively high modulus and toughness compared to the pure hydrogel but also responds to the magnetic field rapidly because of high magnetic particle content (up to 60%, with respect to the total weight of the polymers and water). The hydrogel can be bonded to hydroxyl-rich hard and soft surfaces. Magnetic hydrogel with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coating exhibits excellent underwater performance. The bonding between magnetic hydrogel and PDMS is very stable even under cyclic loading. An artificial muscle and its magnetomechanical coupling performance are demonstrated using this hydrogel. The adhesive tough magnetic hydrogel will open up extensive applications in many fields, such as controlled drug delivery systems, coating of soft devices, and microfluidics. The strategy is applicable to other functional soft materials.