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Experimental Methods of Actuation, Characterization and Prototyping of Hydrogels for BioMEMS/NEMS Applications

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As a member of the smart polymer material group, stimuli responsive hydrogels have achieved a wide range of applications in microfluidic devices, micro/nano bio and environmental sensors, biomechanics and drug delivery systems. To optimize the utilization of a hydrogel in various micro and nano applications it is essential to have a better understanding of its mechanical and electrical properties. This paper presents a review of the different techniques used to determine a hydrogel's mechanical properties, including tensile strength, compressive strength and shear modulus and the electrical properties including electrical conductivity and dielectric permittivity. Also explored the effect of various prototyping factors and the mechanisms by which these factors are used to alter the mechanical and electrical properties of a hydrogel. Finally, this review discusses a wide range of hydrogel fabrication techniques and methods used, to date, to actuate this family of smart polymer material.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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