(267h) Granules Enable Multiscale and Dynamic Tissue-like Behaviors in Synthetic Hydrogel

Fang, Y., University of Chicago
Lin, Y., University of Chicago
Jiang, Y., Stanford University
Han, E., The University of Chicago
Xiao, X., Brookhaven National Laboratory
Wang, J., Argonne National Laboratory
Jaeger, H. M., The University of Chicago
Tian, B., University of Chicago
Living tissues are an integrated, multi-scale architecture consisting of dense cell ensembles and extracellular matrices (ECM) that cooperate to facilitate excellent mechanical properties and dynamic responsiveness. One key challenge in creating tissue-like materials is the identification of cell-like building blocks that can synergistically respond to external stress with existing ECM-like polymer platforms. The mechanical mechanism of the multiscale synergistically responsiveness of the external stimuli is still challenging. Here, we designed a granular material-enabled hybrid gel, featuring cell-like starch granules embedded in ECM-like synthetic hydrogel matrices that readily displayed dynamic memory effects upon mechanical training. Multi-scale and in-situ advanced characterizations revealed that the unique hierarchical of microscopic (chemical bonding) and mesoscopic (physical friction) interactions from starch granules together give rise to tissue-like properties, such as dynamic responsiveness, strain-stiffening, and self-availability. Our results suggest that granular materials, a largely ignored component of biomimetics, may be critical in enabling dynamic behaviors in artificial materials and even in future adaptive and active metamaterials, meanwhile, it also provide a novel opportunities to reveal the biomechanics from multiscale interaction for the real tissue.