Ultra-Stretchable Hydrogel with Long-Lasting Adhesion and Antimicrobial Activity Toward Engineering of Strong 1D Macroscopic Hydrogel Fibers 

Life & Medical Sciences Therapeutics
Tech ID #: 1360.4 

Researchers from the University of Calgary have created an ultra-stretchable Ag-lignin nanoparticle-based hydrogel possessing long-lasting adhesion and strong antimicrobial activity. Such hydrogel may be used for the effective scaled-up fabrication of one-dimensional (1D) macroscopic hydrogel fibers with desirable inherent bio-properties and excellent mechanical properties. Antimicrobial hydrogels for use in healthcare applications often lack stretchability and tensile strength, with the currently engineered Ag-lignin nanoparticle-based hydrogels presenting challenges of limitation in their mechanical properties. The hydrogel has been tested and exhibited inherent bio-properties, including antimicrobial activity, robust adhesion, and excellent mechanical properties. With scalable production, this technology could be expanded into the healthcare platform, as its mechanical properties can be tailored to biological applications for various tissues.  

 

  DESCRIPTION OF TECHNOLOGY 

  • An ultra-stretchable (over 12,400%) hydrogel to enable effective fabrication of 1D macroscopic hydrogel fibers was developed and validated  
  • Technology exhibits long-lasting adhesion and strong antimicrobial activity  
  • Technology is characterized with excellent mechanical properties, with tensile stress of 422.0 MPa, strain of 86.5%, Young’s modulus of 8.7 GPa, and toughness of 281.6 MJm-3  
  • Through a continuous draw-spinning process, fibers have a uniform diameter of ~20 μm, capable of bearing a load around 30,000 times of its own weight 
  • Mechanical properties can be adjusted according to biological applications for various tissues 

 

 AREAS OF APPLICATION

  • Wound repair 
  • Tissue-mimicking and integration 
  • Soft robots  
  • Load-bearing applications 
  • Adhesive or coating 

 

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

  • Hydrogel is prepared at room temperature  
  • The continuous draw-spinning process allows for scalable production of hydrogel fibers that are characterized with uniform diameter and promising mechanical properties  
  • The preparation of the hydrogel does not require external stimuli such as UV radiation or heat  
  • Technology allows for antimicrobial activity, ultra-high stretchability, and long-term adhesion 

 

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT

  • Developed in the lab   

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Provisional patent application No. 63/181,442 filed on April 29, 2021 
  • Researcher profile: Dr. Qingye (Gemma) Lu 

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