Design of ultra-stretchable, highly adhesive and self-healable hydrogels via tannic acid-enabled dynamic interactions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3409–3416
Journal / PublicationMaterials Horizons
Issue number12
Online published7 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


Hydrogels have emerged as a landmark soft material for a wide range of applications such as in biomedical devices, soft robotics, artificial electronic skins, and the Internet of Things (IoT). To date, engineering hydrogels that simultaneously possess high stretchability (>3000%) and strong on-skin adhesion (>30 kPa) has not been an easy task. Generally, good stretchability is mainly dominated by the bulk interactions of hydrogels, whereas robust adhesion relies on the interfacial interactions of hydrogels with their surroundings. Here, we report a facile strategy to engineer an ultra-stretchable, highly adhesive and self-healable hydrogel, by virtue of tannic-acid-enabled dynamic interactions (TEDI) to fully substitute conventional covalent crosslinking. The TEDI strategy allows us to synchronously regulate both bulk and interfacial interactions to obtain exciting properties that outperform conventional hydrogels, including an extraordinary stretchability of over 7300%, remarkable self-healing abilities, and a robust on-skin adhesion of 50 kPa. With these intriguing merits, TEDI hydrogels are demonstrated to be a wearable strain sensor that accurately detect the motion of the human body. Moreover, our TEDI strategy unlocks new opportunities to design next-generation ionic hydrogels that may be valuable for applications in wearable electronic devices and healthcare monitoring.

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