Highly Stretchable and Highly Resilient Polymer-Clay Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Low Hysteresis

Xing Su, Suntharavathanan Mahalingam, Mohan Edirisinghe, Biqiong Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Highly stretchable and highly resilient polymer-clay nanocomposite hydrogels were synthesized by in situ polymerization of acrylamide in the presence of pristine montmorillonite (MMT) or chitosan-treated MMT nanoplatelets at an elevated temperature. Both nanocomposite hydrogels can be stretched to a strain of no less than 1290%. The treatment of clay with chitosan improves the tensile strength, elongation at break, and energy at break of the nanocomposite hydrogel by 237%, 102%, and 389%, respectively, due to the strong chitosan-MMT electrostatic interaction and the grafting of polyacrylamide onto chitosan chains. Both hydrogels display excellent resilience with low hysteresis; with a maximum tensile strain of 50%, ultralow hysteresis is found, while, with a maximum strain of 500%, both hydrogels fully recover their original state in just 1 min. The superb resilience of the nanocomposite hydrogels is attributed to the strong interactions within the hydrogels brought by chain branching, multiple hydrogen bonding, covalent bonding, and/or electrostatic force. The hydrogels can be fabricated into different shapes and forms, including microfibers spun using pressurized gyration, which may find a variety of potential applications in particular in healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22223-22234
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • elasticity
  • hysteresis
  • mechanical properties
  • montmorillonite
  • nanocomposite hydrogel
  • structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Highly Stretchable and Highly Resilient Polymer-Clay Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Low Hysteresis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this