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Comparison of Bulk- vs Layer-by-Layer-Cured Stimuli-Responsive PNIPAM–Alginate Hydrogel Dynamic Viscoelastic Property Response via Embedded Sensors

  • Yang Liu
    Yang Liu
    Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    More by Yang Liu
  • Keturah Bethel
    Keturah Bethel
    Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, United States
  • Manjot Singh
    Manjot Singh
    Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    More by Manjot Singh
  • Junru Zhang
    Junru Zhang
    Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    More by Junru Zhang
  • Rana Ashkar
    Rana Ashkar
    Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    Department of Physics and Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    More by Rana Ashkar
  • Eric M. Davis
    Eric M. Davis
    Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, United States
  • , and 
  • Blake N. Johnson*
    Blake N. Johnson
    Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    Department of Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, United States
    *Email: [email protected]. Phone: 540-231-0755. Fax: 540-231-3322.
Cite this: ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2022, 4, 8, 5596–5607
Publication Date (Web):July 17, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.2c00634
Copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    While stimuli-responsive hydrogels are now being widely investigated, such as for additive manufacturing applications, it remains a challenge to continuously monitor the dynamic response of their material properties to stimuli using traditional characterization methods. Here, we report that dynamic-mode piezoelectric milli-cantilever sensors enable real-time monitoring of the viscoelastic response of bulk- and layer-by-layer (LBL)-cured composite poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM)–alginate hydrogel constructs to thermal changes across the 25–37 °C temperature range. Scanning electron microscopy and sensing studies revealed that the network structure and viscoelastic response of ionic–covalent entanglement composite PNIPAM–alginate hydrogel constructs are dependent on the hydrogel processing method. Composite PNIPAM–alginate constructs fabricated using LBL curing exhibited relatively increased responsiveness compared to bulk-cured constructs in terms of the magnitude of thermal stimulus-driven shear storage modulus change, suggesting opportunities for additive manufacturing applications. In summary, we show that sensors, in combination with traditional characterization methods, enable the study of dynamic process–structure–rheological property relations of stimuli-responsive soft materials and real-time monitoring of material rheological properties using a low-sample volume measurement format.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsapm.2c00634.

    • Schematics of mold geometry, sensor resonant frequency, and quality factor data; sensor data associated with multiple temperature cycles; and SEM data of PNIPAM hydrogel samples (PDF)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 1 publications.

    1. Yang Liu, Junru Zhang, Yujing Zhang, Hu Young Yoon, Xiaoting Jia, Maren Roman, Blake N. Johnson. Accelerated Engineering of Optimized Functional Composite Hydrogels via High-Throughput Experimentation. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2023, 15 (45) , 52908-52920. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.3c11483

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