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Title: 4D Printing of Multi‐Stimuli Responsive Protein‐Based Hydrogels for Autonomous Shape Transformations

Stimuli responsive hydrogels that can change shape in response to applied external stimuli are appealing for soft robotics, biomedical devices, drug delivery, and actuators. However, existing 3D printed shape morphing materials are non‐biodegradable, which limits their use in biomedical applications. Here, 3D printed protein‐based hydrogels are developed and applied for programmable structural changes under the action of temperature, pH, or an enzyme. Key to the success of this strategy is the use of methacrylated bovine serum albumin (MA–BSA) as a biodegradable building block to Pickering emulsion gels in the presence ofN‐isopropylacrylamide or 2‐dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate. These shear‐thinning gels are ideal for direct ink write (DIW) 3D printing of multi‐layered stimuli‐responsive hydrogels. While poly(N‐isopropylacrylamide) and poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) introduce temperature and pH‐responsive properties into the printed objects, a unique feature of this strategy is an enzyme‐triggered shape transformation based on the degradation of the bovine serum albumin network. To highlight this technique, protein‐based hydrogels that reversibly change shape based on environmental temperature and pH are fabricated, and irreversibly altered by enzymatic degradation, which demonstrates the complexity that can be introduced into 4D printed systems.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Functional Materials
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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