Design of autonomous mass-transport with chemical wave propagation in self-oscillating gel

  • Jie RenEmail author
  • Jihong He
  • Aixia Zhang
  • Lan Zhang
  • Wu Yang


A novel gel was successfully prepared by copolymerization N-isopropylacrylamide(NIPAAm), 2-acrylamide-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid (AMPS) and iron(II) (5-acrylamide-1,10-phenanthroline) bis(1,10-phenanthroline) (Fe(phen)3). The influence of the AMPS feed ratio on the network structure and the swelling ratio was investigated. The chemical structure and interior morphology were investigated by FT-IR spectroscopy analysis and SEM. It was found that the volume and color oscillated with the chemical wave propagation in the gel. And a self-driven conveyer is successfully constructed with the prepared gels acting as both the sheet gel and cargo. When the sheet gel was immersed in the catalyst-free BZ solution, chemical wave propagated in the gel sheet and a cylindrical gel cargo placed on the surface was transported with it. The transport velocity of cargo was investigated and it was related to the BZ substrate concentrations and cargo’s diameter. The results are useful in the design of microfluidic devices and autonomously mass-transport systems under mild pH conditions.


Poly(NIPAAm-co-Fe(phen)3-co-AMPS) Self-oscillating gel Chemical wave propagation Self-driven conveyer 



This work was supported in part by the Basic Project of Science and Research of Colleges and Universities of Gansu Province (5001-109), the Project for Young Teacher of Northwest Normal University (NWNU-LKQN-13-6).


  1. 1.
    Yoshida R, Uchida K, Kaneko Y, Sakai K, Kikuchi A, Sakurai Y, Okano T (1995) Comb-type grafted hydrogels with rapid de-swelling response to temperature changes. Nature 374:240–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zhang WW, Vinueza NR, Datta P, Michielsen S (2015) Functional dye as a comonomer in a water-soluble polymer. J Polym Sci A Polym Chem 53:1594–1599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kawasaki H, Sasaki S, Maeda H (1997) Effect of pH on the volume phase transition of copolymer gels of N-isopropyl acrylamide and sodium acrylate. J Chem Phys 101:5089–5093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Osada Y, Okuzaki H, Hori H (1992) A polymer gel with electrically driven motility. Nature 355:242–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tanaka T, Fillmore D, Sun ST, Nishio I, Swislow G, Shah A (1980) Phase transitions in ionic gels. Phys Rev Lett 45:1636–1639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Haines CS, Lima MD, Li N (2014) Artificial muscles from fishing line and sewing thread. Science 343:868–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kamenjicki M, Lednev IK, Asher SAJ (2004) Photoresponsive azobenzene photonic crystals. Phys Chem B 108:12637–12639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Maurer MK, Lednev IK, Asher SA (2005) Photoswitchable spirobenzopyran-based photochemically controlled photonic crystals. Adv Funct Mater 15:1401–1406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hoffman AS (2013) Stimuli-responsive polymers: biomedical applications and challenges for clinical translation. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 65:10–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Epstein IR, Pojman JA (1998) An introduction to nonlinear chemical dynamics: oscillations, waves, patterns and chaos. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yoshida R, Takahashi T, Yamaguchi T, Ichijo H (1996) Self-oscillating gel. J Am Chem Soc 118:5134–5135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yoshida R, Takahashi T, Yamaguchi T, Ichijo H (1997) Self-oscillating gels. Adv Muter 9(2):175–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yoshida R, Sakai T, Hara Y, Maeda S, Hashimoto S, Suzuki D, Murase Y (2009) Self-oscillating gel as novel biomimetic materials. J Control Release 140:186–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yoshida R (2010) Self-oscillating gels driven by the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction as novel smart materials. Adv Mater 22:3463–3483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Masuda T, Akimoto AM, Nagase K, Okano T, Yoshida R (2015) Design of self-oscillating polymer brushes and control of the dynamic behaviors. Chem Mater 27:7395–7402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ito Y, Hara Y, Uetsuka H, Hasuda H, Onishi H, Arakawa H, Ikai A, Yoshida R (2006) AFM observation of immobilized self-oscillating polymer. J Phys Chem B 110:5170–5173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nakamaru S, Maeda S, Hara Y, Hashimoto S (2009) Control of autonomous swelling-deswelling behavior for a polymer gel. J Phys Chem B 113:4609–4613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yoshida R, Omata K, Yamaura K, Tanaka M, Takai M (2006) Maskless microfabrication of thermosensitive gels using a microscope and application to a controlled release microchip. Lab Chip 6(10):1384–1386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yoshida R, Omata K, Yamaura K, Sakai T, Hara Y, Maeda S, Hashimoto S (2006) Microfabrication of functional gels and their application to novel biomimetic materials. J Photopolym Sci Tech 19(4):441–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hara Y, Yoshida R (2005) Control of oscillating behavior for the self-oscillating polymer with pH-control site. Langmuir 21:9773–9776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hara Y, Takamas S, Maeda S, Hashimoto S, Yoshida R (2005) Self-oscillating soluble-insoluble changes of a polymer chain including an oxidizing agent induced by the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. J Phys Chem B 109:23316–23319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hara Y, Yoshida R (2008) Self-oscillating polymer fueled by organic acid. J Phys Chem B 112:8427–8429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tateyama S, Shibuta Y, Yoshida R (2008) Direction control of chemical wave propagation in self-oscillating gel array. J Phys Chem B 112:1777–1782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shiraki Y, Akimoto AM, Miyata T, Yoshida R (2014) Autonomous pulsatile flow by peristaltic motion of tubular self-oscillating gels. Chem Mater 26:5441–5443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Murase Y, Maeda S, Hashimoto S, Yoshida R (2009) Design of a mass transport surface utilizing peristaltic motion of a self-oscillating gel. Langmuir 25:483–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Murase Y, Takeshima R, Yoshida R (2011) Self-driven gel conveyer: effect of interactions between loaded cargo and self-oscillating gel surface. Macromol Biosci 11:1713–1721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Maeda S, Hara Y, Yoshida R, Hashimoto S (2008) Control of the dynamic motion of a gel actuator driven by the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. Macromol Rapid Commun 29:401–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Maeda S, Hara Y, Sakai T, Yoshida R, Hashimoto S (2007) Self-walking gel. Adv Mater 19(21):3480–3484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tamate R, Ueki T, Shibayama M, Yoshida R (2014) Self-oscillating vesicles: spontaneous cyclic structural changes of synthetic diblock copolymers. Angew Chem 126:11430–11434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tamate R, Ueki T, Yoshida R (2015) Self-beating artificial cells: design of cross-linked polymersomes showing self-oscillating motion. Adv Mater 27:837–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tamate R, Ueki T, Yoshida R (2016) Evolved colloidosomes undergoing cell-like autonomous shape oscillations with buckling. Angew Chem 128:5265–5269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ren J, Yao MQ, Zhang GC, Yang XC, Gu JF, Yang W (2015) Self-oscillating soluble-insoluble changes of polymer chain induced by the BZ reaction with Fe(phen)3 catalyst. J Polym Res 22.
  33. 33.
    Yoshida R, Sakai T, Ito S, Yamaguchi T (2002) Self-oscillation of polymer chains with rhythmical soluble-insoluble changes. J Am Chem Soc 124:8095–8098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Taylor AF (2002) Mechanism and phenomenology of an oscillating chemical reaction. Prog React Kinet & Mech 27:247–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ross J, Muller SC, Vidal C (1988) Chemical waves. Science 240:460–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Scott SK (1994) Oscillations, waves and chaos in chemical kinetics. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Field RJ, Noyes RM (1974) Oscillations in chemical systems. V. Quantitative explanation of band migration in the Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction. J Am Chem Soc 96:2001–2006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Brazhnik PK, Tyson JJ (1996) Nonspiral excitation waves beyond the eikonal approximation. Phys Rev E 54:4338–4346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Oosawa C, Fukuta Y, Natsume K, Kometani K (1996) Refraction, reflection, and frequency change of chemical waves propagating in a nonuniform Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction medium. J Phys Chem 100:1043–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Polymer Society, Taipei 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Ren
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jihong He
    • 1
  • Aixia Zhang
    • 1
  • Lan Zhang
    • 1
  • Wu Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry & Chemical Engineering College, Key Lab of Bioelectrochemistry & Environmental Analysis of GansuNorthwest Normal UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations