Accession Number:



STIR: Novel Magnetically Responsive and Self-Repairing Particle-Lipid-Water Gels: Exploring Nanocapillarity as a Tool for Making Materials with Extraordinary Properties

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Jun 2015,29 Feb 2016

Corporate Author:

North Carolina State University Raleigh United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This exploratory project resulted in the discovery and testing of two responsive materials with extraordinary properties and wide areas of potential technological applications. The first one is a new smart gel system containing ultraflexible chains of magnetically responsive nanoparticles formed in multiphase water-oil systems. Liquid lipid shells condensed on the nanoparticles lead to directed assembly of microfilaments and networks via nanocapillary bridges. These liquid bridges allow for particle rolling and sliding, and the resulting chain flexibility was measured to be orders of magnitude higher than any other linear structures reported to date. The nanoparticles binding through soft, snappable capillary forces provides facile means of creating self-repairing gels and new types of responsive multiphase composites. On the basis of the characterization of these capillary interactions, Velev et al. then introduced a new method for 3D printing with polydimethylsiloxane PDMS. In their new method PDMS microbeads are bound through formation of capillary bridges to from an ink for three-dimensional printing. The 3D-printed PDMS structures exhibit high elasticities after crosslinking. These self-standing and highly flexible 3D printed PDMS structures can find applications in biomedical scaffolds and devices, novel electronics and soft robotics.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry

Distribution Statement: