Improved Hydrogel Technology for Tunable Energy Absorbance


Executive Summary


Hydrogels have been known for decades to be capable of absorbing significant amounts of energy largely due to their unusual ability to hold substantial amounts of water. However, these gels often struggle in applications that require large amounts of deformation. MSU researchers have discovered a novel material additive to not only allow for an increase in deformation without failing. Furthermore, this allows for a tunable toughness to be designed to fit a specific application. 


Description of Technology


By implementing nanoporous particles into the hydrogel network, significant energy may be absorbed above a designed application load. Capable of performing in both tension and compression, these flexible hydrogels utilize stiff and soft interpenetrating networks to increase the amount of deformation before failure. Additionally, the nanoporous particles will accept water into the pores of the particles, and in doing so absorb energy while minimizing deformation. 


Key Benefits

  • Bio-compatible
  • Flexible
  • Programmable/tunable toughness
  • Improved strength



  • Wearable armor
    • Scaffolding material
    • Tissue scaffolding
  • Cartilage replacement
  • Vehicle lining
  • Drug Delivery


Patent Status: 


Patent Pending


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available




Weiyi Lu, Roozbeh Dargazany


Tech ID:




Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University