New Development in Hydrogel Market: Researchers Devise a Technique that Produces hydrogel that has both Strength and Adhesion

  • Analysis
  • 22-December-2021

A hydrogel refers to a crosslinked hydrophilic polymer that is characterized for not dissolving in water. They are highly absorbent but still uphold well-defined structures. These properties make them applicable for several uses, particularly in the biomedical area. Most hydrogels are synthetic; however, some have been developed from nature. Researchers have tried to replicate the efficient underwater adhesion used by various marine organisms. However, the technique has been elusive till now.
A research team might have finally resolved the issue. They unveiled a technique that uses synthetic biology to imitate a biocompatible hydrogel. The substance can adhere to underwater surfaces duplicating marine life. The easy-to-use material contributes to the Hydrogel Market as it has immense potential within medicine, manufacturing, and other sectors.
The team presented a design principle that allows an individual to manipulate hydrogel characteristics: adhesion and cohesion. The obtained gel is a little denser than water; this enables one to use it underwater, where it can be either on or in-between two surfaces.

The gel was achieved by combining mussel foot proteins and hybrid spider silk. It was created with the help of engineered bacteria to come up with a tri-hybrid protein, which consists of both strength and adhesion. The substance was then used to produce the innovative hydrogel.
The team added that the adhesion and strength of the gel could be manipulated by engineering the bacteria. This would result in modified mussel foot proteins and spider silk motifs. The hydrogel can also be biodegradable and biocompatible. The hydrogel properties are also highly appropriate for use in tendon-bone repair and tissue. Furthermore, it could also be used to restore limb functionality in medical procedures.
Slimy sea creatures, spiders, rotator cuff tears, and bacteria have anything in common barely. Researchers were able to bring together their best parts to make new elastic materials. It also included molecular-scale crystalline structures that can act as flexible and stronger adhesives. 
The team added that in the future, hydrogel could also be developed for use in medical care for mending shoulder injuries.
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