“3D and 4D printing of tough hydrogel materials” – Presented by Marc in het Panhuis, University of Wollongong

Hydrogels are smart and multifunctional materials with a real potential for use in a variety of novel applications including soft robotics, (edible) sensors and bionic implants. Consisting of a highly swollen polymer network, hydrogels are typically soft and brittle which means that they are not compatible with many traditional techniques used to process raw materials into useful structures. In this presentation I will demonstrate a variety of (extrusion-based) 3D and 4D printing techniques for processing hydrogel inks alongside other inks of structural polymers to create a range of composite architectures including a smart valve, an artificial cartilage meniscus, an artificial tendon, brain-like structures and edible electronic circuits.

About Marc in het Panhuis

Marc in het Panhuis is a Professor of Materials Science in the School of Chemistry, the Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, and Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong (UOW, Australia). His research laboratories are located in the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials and his activities are focused on tough hydrogels, their mechanical (including recoverability) and electrical characterization, interactions with living cells and their processing using Additive Manufacturing (3D/4D printing) for applications in tissue engineering, edible electronics and soft robotics.

About University of Wollongong

The University of Wollongong is located in one of the most beautiful settings in Australia, just an hour’s drive south of Australia’s largest city, Sydney. The University’s Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health and the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials and the Australian Research Council Cente of Excellence for Electromaterials Science are well known for their bio-materials research, including development of additive manufacturing technologies.