High strength hydrogels with multiple shape-memory ability based on hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions.


School of Chemistry and Life Science, Changchun University of Technology, 2055 Yanan Street, Changchun 130012, P. R. China. [Email] [Email] [Email]


Hydrogels with multiple shape-memory ability have aroused great interest due to their promising applications in various fields. Nevertheless, the weak mechanical performance of most shape-memory hydrogels seriously impedes the practical application in more complex environments. Herein, we reported a novel hydrogel with both high mechanical and multi-shape memory properties composed of stearyl methacrylate (SMA), acrylic acid (AA) and quaternary chitosan (QCH). The electrostatic interactions between AA and QCH together with the hydrophobic interactions of alkyl chains in SMA endowed the hydrogel with great strain-stress and fatigue resistance. Furthermore, due to the reversible destruction and construction of physical cross-links, the prepared hydrogels also exhibited the shape-memory ability in response to different stimuli, such as temperature, pH and NaCl solution. Additionally, the multiple shape-memory effect could be accomplished via programmable combination because of the relatively independent physical interactions in the hydrogels.

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