Smart gel

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Hokkaido University researchers in Japan are investigating a 'smart' material that could be useful in bio-medical applications.

Hydrogels -a cross-linked polymer network filled with water molecules -can show 'shape memory'. The gel which can be deformed at low temperatures, can revert to its original shape when heated above 50C. Unlike metals with shape memory, the hydrogels promise to be compatible with biological tissue, and may be used in making thermally-responsive valves or temperature-activated surgical lamps.

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