3D printing of highly stretchable hydrogel with diverse UV curable polymers

Qi Ge*, Zhe Chen, Jianxiang Cheng, Biao Zhang*, Yuan Fang Zhang, Honggeng Li, Xiangnan He, Chao Yuan, Ji Liu, Shlomo Magdassi, Shaoxing Qu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Hydrogel-polymer hybrids have been widely used for various applications such as biomedical devices and flexible electronics. However, the current technologies constrain the geometries of hydrogel-polymer hybrid to laminates consisting of hydrogel with silicone rubbers. This greatly limits functionality and performance of hydrogel-polymer–based devices and machines. Here, we report a simple yet versatile multimaterial 3D printing approach to fabricate complex hybrid 3D structures consisting of highly stretchable and high–water content acrylamide-PEGDA (AP) hydrogels covalently bonded with diverse UV curable polymers. The hybrid structures are printed on a self-built DLP-based multimaterial 3D printer. We realize covalent bonding between AP hydrogel and other polymers through incomplete polymerization of AP hydrogel initiated by the water-soluble photoinitiator TPO nanoparticles. We demonstrate a few applications taking advantage of this approach. The proposed approach paves a new way to realize multifunctional soft devices and machines by bonding hydrogel with other polymers in 3D forms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbereaba4261
JournalScience advances
Issue number2
StatePublished - 6 Jan 2021

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