Chemical Research in Chinese Universities ›› 2024, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 64-77.doi: 10.1007/s40242-023-3250-7

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Fatigue-resistant Hydrogels

LI Luofei1, LEI Hai2, CAO Yi1   

  1. 1. Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructure, Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China;
    2. Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, P. R. China
  • Received:2023-11-09 Online:2024-02-01 Published:2024-01-24
  • Contact: LEI Hai, CAO Yi;
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. T2222019, 11974174, and 11934008) and the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2020YFA0908100).

Abstract: Hydrogels have been extensively studied for applications in various fields, such as tissue engineering and soft robotics, as determined by their mechanical properties. The mechanical design of hydrogels typically focuses on the modulus, toughness, and deformability. These characteristics play important roles and make great achievements for hydrogel use. In recent years, a growing body of research has concentrated on the fatigue property of hydrogels, which determines their resistance to crack propagation in the networks during cyclic mechanical loads for applications. However, knowledge of hydrogel fatigue behavior remains notably deficient. Here, we present a brief overview of the fatigue behavior of hydrogels, encompassing the general experimental methods to measure the fatigue property and fundamental theoretical calculation models. Then, we highlight multiple strategies to enhance the fatigue resistance of hydrogels. Finally, we present our perspectives on fatigue-resistant hydrogels, outstanding challenges and potential directions for future research.

Key words: Hydrogel, Fatigue-resistant, Fracture