Poly(alkoxy ether)s as platforms for stimuli-responsive materials. Our group uses living anionic polymerization to synthesize poly(glycidyl ether) derivatives that afford multi-stimuli-responsive hydrogels. These materials physically change in response to external stimuli such as temperature, pressure, and light. We develop and interrogate structure property relationships of our materials by using synthetic chemistry and supramolecular chemistry to design polymers that we primarily characterize using rheology (among other characterization techniques).
Living materials and their analogs. Living materials are composites of living cells residing within a polymeric matrix, and a unique feature of these materials is that the cells are metabolically active. Our group develops stimuli-responsive hydrogels for fabricating living materials via 3D printing.
Actuating hydrogels. We use direct-write printing to create stimuli-responsive 3D printed hydrogels, which can fold in response to an external stimulus. 3D printing enables rapid iteration to achieve optimized designs for actuating hydrogels.