Journal of Polymer Research

, 25:25 | Cite as

Synchronous volume and color self-oscillating gels based on chemomechanical coupling

  • Jie Ren
  • Li Tao
  • Jihong He
  • Aixia Zhang
  • Wu Yang


A novel Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gels which were observed volume and color self-oscillating periodically and autonomously in a closed homogeneous solution free of acid without any external stimuli were prepared successfully and the self-oscillating could last more than 3 h. The cross-linked gels are composed of a non-thermoresponsive and biocompatible poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP), acrylic acid (AA) and 5-acrylamide-1,10-phenanthroline bis(1,10-phenanthroline) iron(II) (Fe(phen)3), which act as the catalyst for the BZ reaction. The amplitude of the diameter oscillation for cylindrical gels was about 20 μm to approximately 5% of its initial diameter. The period of the volume oscillation was about 250 s. A moving chemical wave was observed directly propagation across cylindrical gels. The reversible changes in volume and color, the moving chemical wave in the gels have potential applications in the design of microfluidic devices and mass-transport systems under mild pH conditions.


Self-oscillating gels Poly(VP-co-AA-co-Fe(phen)3Chemical wave 



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).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

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