Bio-polymer networks and hydrogels Soft polymers are materials with an inherent network structure comprising chains which are made of repeating units called monomers. These materials are resilient, capable of experiencing large deformations, and available at low costs.
Our group aims to understand the relations between the micro-structure and the macroscopic response of soft polymers. The insights from our work can be used as a design guide that enables to control the properties of the polymers during the fabrication process.
A hydrogel is formed when a polymer network is submerged in a liquid solvent and begins to swell. Our group showed that the swelling response can be tuned by introducing inhomogeneities in the network.