A mechanically enhanced electroactive hydrogel for 3D printing using a multileg long chain crosslinker

Yong Woo Kang, Jaesung Woo, Hae Ryung Lee, Jeong Yun Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Electroactive hydrogels (EAHs) are receiving attention in soft robotics. 3D printing makes EAHs even more attractive, due to the diversification and elaboration of actuations. However, 3D printing needs a large amount of photoinitiator for faster printing, which makes the printed hydrogels so brittle that they cannot produce large scale 3D printing. Here, we developed a 3D printable EAH based on poly(3-sulfopropyl acrylate, potassium salt) (PSPA) using glycidyl methacrylated hyaluronic acid (GMHA) as a mechanically enhancing multileg long chain (MLLC) crosslinker. The MLLC crosslinking improved the stretchability of the PSPA-based hydrogel to 49% from 28%, while maintaining the same level of electroactivity. Additionally, the fracture toughness of the PSPA-based hydrogel remarkably increased from 11 to 40 J m-2 with crosslinking by the MLLC. Using the mechanically enhanced EAH, i.e. the GMHA-PSPA EAH, the 3D printing of elaborate structures, e.g. 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' and a hand, and their electroactuation were successfully demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095016
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 12
Externally publishedYes


  • 3d printing
  • Electroactive hydrogels
  • Glycidyl methacrylated hyaluronic acid
  • Poly(sulfopropyl acrylate
  • Potassium salt)
  • Soft actuators
  • Soft robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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