Biomaterials from Hokkaido University contain double-network hydrogels that become stronger in response to mechanical stress.


  • Dynamic
  • Responsive


  • Medical implants
  • Medical treatment

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

The Challenge

Bioengineered materials could become essential technologies in regenerative and personalized medicine due to their customizable nature. Unfortunately, the materials typically used are static, non-living material, which are unable to morph autonomously.

Innovation Details

The biomaterial is made of a double-network hydrogel. The hydrogel consists of water, a rigid and a soft, stretchy polymer. The hydrogel is placed in a solution containing monomers that are naturally attracted to the broken areas in the hydrogel. When mechanical stresses cause the hydrogel to break, the monomers join to rebuild it, strengthening the material.

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Biomimicry Story

Skeletal muscle grows through repeated exercise. When the muscle fibers break down, they signals new, stronger muscle fibers to grow and replace the broken ones. The result of this system is the natural growth of muscles in areas that are physically stressed.