Tough hydrogels that are capable of efficient mechanical energy dissipation and withstanding large strains have potential applications in diverse areas. However, most reported fabrication strategies are performed in multiple steps with long-time UV irradiation or heating at high temperatures, limiting their biological and industrial applications. Hydrogels formed with a single pair of mechanisms are unstable in harsh conditions. Here we report a one-step, biocompatible, straightforward and general strategy to prepare tough soft hydrogels in a few tens of seconds under mild conditions. With a multimechanism design, the network structures remarkably improve the mechanical properties of hydrogels and maintain their high toughness in various environments. The broad compatibility of the proposed method with a spectrum of printing technologies makes it suitable for potential applications requiring high-resolution patterns/structures. This strategy opens horizons to inspire the design and application of high-performance hydrogels in fields of material chemistry, tissue engineering, and flexible electronics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)