About the Research
Synthesis of high performance hydrogels and soft matter. Especially focused on tough gels, self-evolving gels, low friction gels, adhesive gels, biocompatible gels.
The ultimate goal of our research is the development of strong and highly functional gels that outperform soft tissues of the body, such as muscle, cartilage, and tendons. In addition, we try to find applications for these materials in a variety of scientific fields, including in the medical field. Together with ICReDD, we want to design these materials on a molecular level to create metabolizing, self-growing, and thus adaptive tissues.
Drawing inspiration from biological systems, we make assumptions on the reason behind their function and try to create artificial structures with comparable or superior characteristics. We then verify the assumptions experimentally and explore the artificial system’s physical properties. The results of this inform the next round of assumptions and artificial systems.
The Researcher’s Perspective
Being a scientist is a unique job. It requires creativity and devotion, much like an artist, and allows following one’s interest freely. Discovering or inventing something in this process is very rewarding. I was inspired to become a scientist by reading, as a child, biographies of researchers, especially of Marie Curie. As a girl, I was encouraged by the fact that she could achieve so highly in times that difficult for women. But even today, I hope the number of female Ph.D. students and scientists in chemistry will increase more and more.
Representative Research Achievements
- Double Network Hydrogels with Extremely High Mechanical Strength
J. P. Gong, Y. Katsuyama, T. Kurokawa, Y. Osada, Adv. Mat., 2003, 15, 1155-1158
DOI : 10.1002/adma.200304907
- Why Are Double Network Hydrogels So Tough?
J. P. Gong, Soft Mater., 2010, 6, 2583-2590
DOI : 10.1039/B924290B
- Physical Hydrogels Composed of Polyampholytes Demonstrate High Toughness and Viscoelasticity
T. L. Sun, T. Kurokawa, S. Kuroda, A. B. Ihsan, T. Akasaki, K. Sato, Md. A. Haque, T. Nakajima, J. P. Gong, Nat. Mater., 2013, 12, 932-937
DOI : 10.1038/nmat3713
- Large Strain Hysteresis and Mullins Effect of Tough Double-Network Hydrogels
R. E. Webber, C. Creton, H. R. Brown, J. P. Gong, Macromolecules, 2007, 40, 2919-2917
DOI : 10.1021/ma062924y
- Super Tough Double Network Hydrogels and Their Application as Biomaterials
Md. A. Haque, T. Kurokawa, J. P. Gong, Polymer, 2012, 53, 1805-1822
DOI : 10.1016/j.polymer.2012.03.013
- Tough Hydrogels with Fast, Strong, and Reversible Underwater Adhesion Based on a Multi-Scale Design
Ping Rao, Tao Lin Sun, Liang Chen, Riku Takahashi, Gento Shinohara, Hui Guo, Daniel R. King, Takayuki Kurokawa, Jian Ping Gong, Advanced Materials, 2018, 30(32), 1801884
DOI : 10.1002/adma.201801884
- Mechanoresponsive self-growing hydrogels inspired by muscle training
Takahiro Matsuda et al., Science, 2019, 363(6426), 504-508
DOI : 10.1126/science.aau9533
- Hydrogel mimics human brain with memorizing and forgetting ability
- Getting glued in the sea
- Self-growing materials that strengthen in response to force