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hydrogels

Helpful Hydrogels
Image: iStockphoto.com/belchonock

Helpful Hydrogels

They can hold more than 500 times their weight in pure water and be engineered to heal themselves. They can even dole out drugs and stay completely invisible, even when you're looking right at it.

While they may be the stuff of the future, they’re also probably the first things you ever wore. Investigate hydrogels.

Steve Spangler Science
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Invisible Balls

Invisible Balls

Here’s how to make hydrogel balls disappear, hundreds at a time. All you need to know is that they have the same refractive index as water. More...

Video
Mark Haldane
Hydrogels: Berkeley Engineers & Mentors

Hydrogels: Berkeley Engineers & Mentors

Engineers see hydrogels as a key ingredient in wound-healing patches, artificial organs, explosives, and much more. Try these classroom experiments at home to find out why. More...

Activity
University of California, Berkeley
Light-Activated Hydrogel, Stem Cells Re-Create Knee Cartilage

Light-Activated Hydrogel, Stem Cells Re-Create Knee Cartilage

By putting stem cells on a hydrogel, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have caused new cartilage to grow in people's knees. More...

Article
Science and Enterprise
A Ball of Metal Bounces Off a Thin Sheet of Super-Tough Hydrogel

A Ball of Metal Bounces Off a Thin Sheet of Super-Tough Hydrogel

This new material may be thin and squishy, but it will stretch to 20 times its ordinary length without breaking. Find out how, and what we might do with it. More...

Video
Popular Science
Environmental Visionaries: The Diaper Farmer

Environmental Visionaries: The Diaper Farmer

Meet Willem van Cotthem, a Belgian scientist turned social entrepreneur. His "super-soil harnesses the power of Pampers to turn dirt into lush gardens." More...

Profile
Popular Science
HowStuffWorks: Polymer Crystals

HowStuffWorks: Polymer Crystals

One pound of polymer crystals can hold about 50 gallons of water. No wonder you had them in your diaper (assuming your parents used the disposable kind). More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
Hydrogel for Cooling

Hydrogel for Cooling

How do fever-reducing hydrogel products work? And are they safe to put on your skin? Two experts comment. More...

Article
Argonne National Laboratory
Smart Materials: Hydrogels

Smart Materials: Hydrogels

Hydrogels are long polymers that usually curl into a ball when in water. Find out how we use hydrogels everyday. Hint: do you use hair gel? More...

Video
Smart Materials
What Is a Hydrogel?

What Is a Hydrogel?

How can a hydrogel hold more than 500 times its weight in pure water, but not salty water? The secret lies in the gel's molecular structure. More...

Article
Dr. Colin France

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