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Jammed Microgel-Based Inks for 3D Printing of Complex Structures Transformable via pH/Temperature Variations

Cited 10 time in Web of Science Cited 10 time in Scopus

Moon, Dowon; Lee, Min-Gyu; Sun, Jeong-Yun; Song, Kwang Hoon; Doh, Junsang

Issue Date
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Macromolecular Rapid Communications, Vol.43 No.19, p. 2200271
Structure changes mediated by anisotropic volume changes of stimuli-responsive hydrogels are useful for many research fields, yet relatively simple structured objects are mostly used due to limitation in fabrication methods. To fabricate complex 3 dimensional (3D) structures that undergo structure changes in response to external stimuli, jammed microgel-based inks containing precursors of stimuli-responsive hydrogels are developed for extrusion-based 3D printing. Specifically, the jammed microgel-based inks are prepared by absorbing precursors of poly(acrylic acid) or poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) in poly(acrylamide) (PAAm) microgels, and jamming them. The inks exhibit shear-thinning and self-healing properties that allow extrusion of the inks through a nozzle and rapid stabilization after printing. Stimuli-mediated volume changes are observed for the extruded structures when they are post-crosslinked by UV light to form interpenetrating networks of PAAm microgels and stimuli-responsive hydrogels. Using this method, a dumbbell-shaped object that can transform to a biconvex shape, and a gripper that can grasp and lift an object in response to stimuli are 3D-printed. The jammed microgel-based 3D printing strategy is a versatile method useful for variety of applications as diverse types of monomers absorbable in the microgels can be used to fabricate complex 3D objects transformable by external stimuli.
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