Scientists create hydrogels which can be controlled with electricity

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Hydrogels are special materials that contain a large amount of water, typically more than 90% water by weight. They can be used to make things that are soft and lifelike. But when we want these hydrogels to respond to certain things, like temperature changes or chemicals, they don’t always work perfectly.

What an international team of scientists from Sweden and Germany has done is create hydrogels that can be controlled with electricity. This means they can easily connect them to electronic devices such as computers and smartphones.

They have created a certain type of hydrogel that responds to electricity and expands in a specific way. When you apply a low voltage of less than one volt, the hydrogel stretches considerably, up to 300%. This happens because water molecules enter the hydrogel when the electricity is turned on.

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