Authors: A.N. Chatterjee, S.K. De and N.R. Aluru
Affilation: University of Illinois, United States
Pages: 130 - 133
Keywords: electro-responsive, hydrogels, micro-actuators, micro-valves
Environmentally sensitive hydrogels have enormous potential in various applications. Ionic polymer gels have been shown to respond to a number of different stimuli like pH and electric field. One of the major advantages of electro-responsive gels (E-gels) over pH responsive gels (pH-gels) is the much smaller response time of the E-gels. The electrically triggered hydrogels can be used as actuators and components in microfluidic systems. The structure of an E-gel is similar to that of a pH-gel. The deformation of an ionic polymer gel, immersed in a salt solution, when an electric field is applied is primarily due to the osmotic stress, which arises due to the difference in the concentration of the ions inside and outside the hydrogel.