|Title||Electrical Programming of Soft Matter: Using Temporally Varying Electrical Inputs To Spatially Control Self Assembly.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Yan, K, Liu, Y, Zhang, J, Correa, SO, Shang, W, Tsai, C-C, Bentley, WE, Shen, J, Scarcelli, G, Raub, CB, Shi, X-W, Payne, GF|
|Date Published||2017 Dec 29|
The growing importance of hydrogels in translational medicine has stimulated the development of top-down fabrication methods, yet often these methods lack the capabilities to generate the complex matrix architectures observed in biology. Here we show that temporally varying electrical signals can cue a self-assembling polysaccharide to controllably form a hydrogel with complex internal patterns. Evidence from theory and experiment indicate that internal structure emerges through a subtle interplay between the electrical current that triggers self-assembly and the electrical potential (or electric field) that recruits and appears to orient the polysaccharide chains at the growing gel front. These studies demonstrate that short sequences (minutes) of low-power (∼1 V) electrical inputs can provide the program to guide self-assembly that yields hydrogels with stable, complex, and spatially varying structure and properties.