Stimuli responsive materials have attracted considerable interest during the past years due to their potential use in sensor and actuator applications. They are designed to transform small external stimuli e.g. temperature and humidity changes into a significant response. While a large number of alloys or synthetic polymers are well-established at this point, we explore the potential of the biomaterial gelatin to respond to temperature and humidity for possible use as biological active control elements or as switchable scaffolds.
To tailor the stimuli responsiveness of gelatin, it is crosslinked by high energy electron irradiation, which is nontoxic and thus enables biomedical applications.
We will present that gelatin crosslinking by electron irradiation can be utilized to build a biocompatible and stimuli responsive demonstrator responding to humidity. Furthermore we will show how changes in environmental parameters such as irradiation dose, gel concentration, pH-value and salt concentration can be used to precisely modify the response of the bio-actuator.