Symposium SM02—Hydrogel Technology for Humans and Machines
Current processing of engineering materials relies on calving, molding, extruding, rolling, packing, and weaving of solid materials. However, Mother Nature’s toolbox for creating things is far beyond just solids. Clearly both solid and liquid play indispensable roles in living systems and the magical combination of the two by Mother Nature produces a wide spectrum of exquisite properties. For example, articular cartilage, a natural hydrogel that contains 70% water, can maintain impressively high fracture toughness under millions of cycles of loads. Skeletal muscles can achieve high actuation stress, strain and energy efficiency, yet operating over years. Mussel secrets soft glues to form extremely robust adhesions to rocks and metals in flowing water with high salinity. The underlying principles and tactics totally elude current synthetic technologies.
This symposium will cover the complete range of fundamental mechanics, physics and materials science research to applications. The following scientific questions will be discussed: What are nature’s strategies in designing various soft living materials and intelligent machines? How to fabricate soft materials that possess properties and functions as living organisms? Can we integrate soft living and engineered machines to create new forms of machines or life? This symposium focuses on, from computational modeling to experimental tests, intelligent design, manufacture, and molecular understanding of smart and functional hydrogel-based soft/living materials. The symposium will cover a variety of interdisciplinary topics related to smart hydrogel materials, data science, lab on chips computational modeling, which promote the molecular-level understanding and practical development of the next-generation smart, living hydrogels from fundamentals toward applications at different lengthscales and timescales.