Fast healing of ionic bonds in tough hydrogels under an acoustic excitation

Hyun Hee Lee, Yong Woo Kim, Jaesung Woo, Haedong Park, Kahyun Hur, Zhigang Suo, Jeong Yun Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A hydrogel of covalently crosslinked chains and ionically crosslinked chains has exhibited high toughness. Under deformation, the covalently crosslinked network remains intact, and the ionically crosslinked network dissipates energy by breaking the ionic bonds. Because the broken ionic bonds can reform spontaneously, the damaged hydrogel can recover its initial state. However, the healing process of dissociated ionic bonds is slow. This paper shows that the healing process of dissociated ionic bonds accelerates under ultrasound radiation. Ultrasound enhanced the mobility of the dissociated chains, resulting in fast recovery of the mechanical properties. While a damaged gel thermally recovered 5 % of its energy density at room temperature in an hour, 37 % of the energy density was recovered using ultrasound in the same period. Molecular dynamic simulations were also included in this study to reveal the effect of ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100572
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Fast healing
  • Hydrogel
  • Ionic crosslinking
  • Poly acrylamide/alginate hybrid gel
  • Recovery
  • Sonication
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Fast healing of ionic bonds in tough hydrogels under an acoustic excitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this