Not Just a Work of Art: Moldable, Load-Bearing, Self-Healing Gels

  • Author: Victoria Barton
  • Published Date: 28 May 2012
  • Source / Publisher: Chemistry – A European Journal/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Not Just a Work of Art: Moldable, Load-Bearing, Self-Healing Gels

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Combining chemistry with art, a unique gel sculpture derived from a simple organic salt has been created, which exhibits remarkable shape-persistent, free-standing, load-bearing, and self-healing properties.


By using a supramolecular synthon approach, Parthasarathi Dastidar and colleagues, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Jadavpur, West Bengal, describe an easy access to a new series of supramolecular gelators derived from an easily obtainable organic salts. One such salt, dicyclohexylammonium Boc-glycinate, displayed properties that have been mainly exhibited in clay- and polymer-based gels.

The strength of the gel encouraged the group to attempt to make a sculpture with the gel by pouring the gel into a template of the sculpture (the "mother and child", pictured), which was stable for several months.


These easily synthesizable materials are expected to be useful in stress-bearing and several other applications.

Image: © Wiley-VCH


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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH