, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 5305–5319 | Cite as

Self-healing nanocomposite hydrogels based on modified cellulose nanocrystals by surface-initiated photoinduced electron transfer ATRP

  • Liangjiu BaiEmail author
  • Xinyan Jiang
  • Zhixiang Sun
  • Zhaoxia Pei
  • Anyao Ma
  • Wenxiang WangEmail author
  • Hou Chen
  • Huawei Yang
  • Lixia Yang
  • Donglei Wei
Original Research


Self-healing hydrogels with excellent toughness and mechanical strength are particularly desirable for practical application. In this paper, green and environmentally friendly cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were successfully modified on the surface via metal-free photoinduced electron transfer atom transfer radical polymerization (PET-ATRP). Surface-initiated PET-ATRP was achieved by using 4-vinylpyridine (4VP) as functional monomer, 10-phenylphenothiazine (Ph-PTZ) as photocatalyst and ultraviolet light (365 nm) as light source, respectively. The prepared P4VP-CNCs hybrid materials (CNCs@P4VP) were used as green reinforcement to obtain self-healing nanocomposite hydrogels by electrostatic interactions. As a result, the nanocomposite hydrogels displayed outstanding mechanical (6.6 MPa at a strain of 921.6%) and self-healing (85.9% after repairing 6 h) properties. This work provides a promising green method for designing novel self-healing nanocomposite hydrogels with high strength.

Graphical abstract


Cellulose nanocrystals Atom transfer radical polymerization Self-healing Nanocomposite hydrogels 



The financial support of our manuscript from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51773086, 51573075 and 21808098), the Project of Shandong Province Higher Educational Science (Nos. J16LC20 and J18KA080) and the Key Program for Basic Research of Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (No. ZR2018ZC0946).

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2449_MOESM1_ESM.docx (511 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 511 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center of Shandong Province for High Performance Fibers and Their Composites, School of Chemistry and Materials ScienceLudong UniversityYantaiChina

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