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Proceedings Paper

Smart hydrogels in devices
Author(s): Neil B. Graham
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Paper Abstract

Hydrogels are materials which will swell in water but not dissolve. They are a large family of materials rather than a single entity. Indeed much of living tissue comprises hydrogel and the variety and function of this class presents the scope for the development of synthetic materials which can perform many so-called 'Smart' functions. The action of muscles, the selectivity of membranes and the contraction and expansion of various sphincters and the control of blood flow in veins and arteries might all be simulated with synthetic analogues. Such materials are now being demonstrated and systems which undergo large dimensional changes with changes in hydrogen ion or other ionic concentration have been reported while hydrogels which bend when subjected to an electrical potential difference have been made. Hydrogels can be incorporated into devices which can act as transducers, as sensors and as accurately controlled timing devices for the release of drugs and in other potential applications. This paper will illustrate a selection of these applications utilizing hydrogels developed in our laboratories and based on crosslinked poly (ethylene oxide). The dry form of the hydrogel will be referred to as a xerogel and the term hydrogel will refer to the material swollen to some degree with water.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 1994
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 2361, Second European Conference on Smart Structures and Materials, (13 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.184844
Show Author Affiliations
Neil B. Graham, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2361:
Second European Conference on Smart Structures and Materials
Alaster McDonach; Peter T. Gardiner; Ron S. McEwen; Brian Culshaw, Editor(s)

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