(725i) Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-Clay Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Responsive Bending Property As Temperature-Controlled Manipulators Conference: AIChE Annual MeetingYear: 2015Proceeding: 2015 AIChE Annual MeetingGroup: Materials Engineering and Sciences DivisionSession: Biomacromolecular Gels Time: Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 5:30pm-5:45pm Authors: Yao, C., Sichuan University Liu, Z., Sichuan University Chu, L., Sichuan University Wang, W., Sichuan University Ju, X. J., Sichuan University Xie, R., Sichuan University Yang, C., Sichuan University Novel poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-clay (PNIPAM-clay) nanocomposite (NC) hydrogels with both excellent responsive bending and elastic properties have been developed as temperature-controlled manipulators. The PNIPAM-clay NC structure provides the hydrogel with excellent mechanical property, and the thermo-responsive bending property of the PNIPAM-clay NC hydrogel is achieved by designing an asymmetrical distribution of nano-clays across the hydrogel thickness. The hydrogel is simply fabricated by a two-step photo polymerization. The thermo-responsive bending property of the PNIPAM-clay NC hydrogel is resulted from the unequal forces generated by the thermo-induced asynchronous shrinkage of hydrogel layers with different clay contents. The thermo-responsive bending direction and degree of the PNIPAM-clay NC hydrogel can be adjusted by controlling the thickness ratio of the hydrogel layers with different clay contents. The prepared PNIPAM-clay NC hydrogels exhibit rapid, reversible and repeatable thermo-responsive bending/unbending characteristics upon heating and cooling. The proposed PNIPAM-clay NC hydrogels with excellent responsive bending property are demonstrated as temperature-controlled manipulators for various applications including encapsulation, capture and transportation of targeted objects. They are highly attractive material candidates for stimuli-responsive “smart” soft robots in myriad fields such as manipulators, grippers and cantilever sensors.