Hydrogel- Solid when wet and Liquid when dry

A new material created by Cornell University researchers that’s solid when wet and liquid when dry. It’s a new variety of hydrogel so soft that it can flow like a liquid and then, strangely, return to its original shape.    Image credit: Cornell University/Luo Lab

Above image: Hydrogels made in the form of the letters D, N and A collapse into a liquid-like state on their own but return to the original shape when surrounded by water.

The most important with the liquid hydrogel, is that remembers its shape! Like the Terminator T-1000.

The new hydrogel qualifies as a “metamaterial” with properties not found in nature and may be the first with mechanical meta-properties.

It’s a mesh of organic molecules with many small empty spaces that can absorb water like a sponge.

Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering in Cornell University and colleagues describe their creation:

“During this process they entangle, and the entanglement produces a 3-D network. But the result was not what they expected: The hydrogel they made flows like a liquid, but when placed in water returns to the shape of the container in which it was formed. This was not by design.”

Hydrogel- Solid when wet and Liquid when dry Image credit: Cornell University/Luo Lab

Under an electron microscope the material is revealed to consist of tiny “bird’s nests” of tangled DNA, top, which are tied together by more DNA stands into a mass, bottom.

via gizmag

source Cornell University