CBE Seminar: Programmable Shape Morphing and Responsiveness of Composite Hydrogels and Elastomers

ISEB 1200
Jinhye Bae, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor 
Department of NanoEngineering 
University of California San Diego

Abstract: The design and fabrication of stimuli-responsive hydrogels and hybrids with reversible shape morphing and tunable actuation speed have been of great interest. In this talk, I will discuss our recent progress in approaches to integrate functional materials (i.e., graphene oxide, nanoclay, etc.) into stimuli-responsive hydrogels [(i.e., poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)]. These approaches provide insights into how the presence of functional additives and physical interactions between the additives and hydrogel networks can lead to different internal structures and mechanical properties. Next, I will describe how we have leveraged these insights to precisely program the 3D shapes and control the swelling-deswelling kinetics by external stimuli and tune the mechanical properties. Lastly, I will demonstrate how the different manufacturing processes can affect the microstructures and properties of hydrogels and their hybrids. Such stimuli-responsive shape morphing systems of hydrogels and hybrids will allow us to understand their structure-property relationships and utilize these systems for applications ranging from soft robotics to biomedical devices. 

Bio: Bae is an assistant professor in the department of NanoEngineering at the University of California San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, then worked in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research focuses on understanding the structure-property relationship of polymeric materials to program their shape reconfiguration and responsiveness. Bae's research interests also include the integration of material characteristics into new structural design and fabrication approaches for applications in biomedical devices, soft robotics, actuators and sensors. She has received several awards including the ACS PMSE Young Investigator Award (2023), the KIChE President Young Investigator Award (2021), the ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award (2021) etc. Also, she has been selected as the Emerging Investigator in Nanoscale (2023), Soft Matter (2022) and Polymer Chemistry (2020). 

Host: Assistant Professor Herdeline Ardoña