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Open AccessArticle

Reversible Mechanical Regulation and Splicing Ability of Alginate-Based Gel Based on Photo-Responsiveness of Molecular-Level Conformation

1
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Chongqing Key Laboratory of Soft-Matter Material Chemistry and Function Manufacturing, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
2
Chongqing Engineering Research Center of Application Technology for 3D Printing, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing 400714, China
3
College of Plant Protection, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(18), 2919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12182919
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Materials)
In this study, benefiting from the sensitive molecular conformation transversion in azobenzene, a new strategy for fabricating alginate gels with the abilities of splicing and photo-responsive mechanical adjustment is reported. Firstly, a 4,4’-azobis(benzoylhydrazide) (Azo-hydrazide) linker was used to crosslink alginate physically via the electrostatic interaction between hydrazide groups and carboxyl groups. It was then shaped and transferred in situ to a chemically crosslinked gel via 450 nm light irradiation. Under the irradiation, the molecular conformation change of azobenzene in the linker was able to form covalent bonds at the crosslinking points of the gels. Furthermore, the reversible conformation transformation of azobenzene was able to induce the increase and decrease of the storage modulus under irradiation with 365 nm light and 450 nm light, respectively, while also providing gel-like mechanical properties, depending upon the irradiation time and given wavelength. Meanwhile, the results also indicated that active groups could contribute to the splicing ability of the gel and construct a hollow cavity structure. It is believed that this work could provide a versatile strategy for preparing photo-responsive gels with reversibly tunable mechanical properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: photo-responsive gel; alginate gel; azobenzene; mechanical adjustment; gel splicing photo-responsive gel; alginate gel; azobenzene; mechanical adjustment; gel splicing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, X.; He, L.; Wan, X.; Xiang, S.; Fan, Y.; Xiong, X.; Gan, L.; Huang, J. Reversible Mechanical Regulation and Splicing Ability of Alginate-Based Gel Based on Photo-Responsiveness of Molecular-Level Conformation. Materials 2019, 12, 2919.

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