A short linear glucan nanocomposite hydrogel formed by in situ self-assembly with highly elastic, fatigue-resistant and self-recovery

Jinling Zou, Zhiwei Lin, Linjie Zhan, Yang Qin, Qingjie Sun, Na Ji, Fengwei Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polyacrylamide (PAM) hydrogels are widely used in wide-ranging applications in biology, medicine, pharmaceuticals and environmental sectors. However, achieving the requisite mechanical properties, fatigue resistance, self-recovery, biocompatibility, and biodegradability remains a challenge. Herein, we present a facile method to construct a nanocomposite hydrogel by integrating short linear glucan (SLG), obtained by debranching waxy corn starch, into a PAM network through self-assembly. The resulting composite hydrogel with 10 % SLG content exhibited satisfactory stretchability (withstanding over 1200 % strain), along with maximum compressive and shear strengths of about 490 kPa and 39 kPa at 90 % deformation, respectively. The hydrogel demonstrated remarkable resilience and could endure repeated compression and stretching. Notably, the nanocomposite hydrogel with 10 % SLG content exhibited full stress recovery at 90 % compression deformation after 20 s, without requiring specific environmental conditions, achieving an energy dissipation recovery rate of 98 %. Meanwhile, these hydrogels exhibited strong adhesion to various soft and hard substrates, including skin, glasses and metals. Furthermore, they maintain solid integrity at both 37 °C and 50 °C after swelling equilibrium, unlike traditional PAM hydrogels, which exhibited softening under similar conditions. We hope that this PAM-SLG hydrogel will open up new avenues for the development of multifunctional electronic devices, offering enhanced performance and versatility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122241
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Early online date8 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request.


  • Fatigue-resistant
  • Mechanically strong
  • Self-assembly
  • Self-recovery
  • Short linear glucan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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