2, University Leipzig, Leipzig, , Germany
Stimuli responsive materials have attracted considerable interest during the past years due to their potential use in sensor and actuator applications. They are designed to transform small external stimuli e.g. temperature and humidity changes into a significant response. While a large number of alloys or synthetic polymers are well-established at this point, we explore the potential of the biomaterial gelatin to respond to temperature and humidity for possible use as biological active control elements or as switchable scaffolds.
To tailor the stimuli responsiveness of gelatin, it is crosslinked by high energy electron irradiation which is nontoxic and thus enables biomedical applications. Thereby, a temperature dependent shape memory is introduced which can be utilized to develop a temperature-responding system.
Furthermore, we will show that electron irradiated gelatin has a high potential as a biocompatible and stimuli responsive demonstrator responding to humidity. By adaption of environmental parameters such as irradiation dose, gel concentration, pH-value and salt concentration, the response of the responsive element can be precisely tuned.