Stout Students Make Hydrogel Objects with the “Society of Women Engineers” From the University of Michigan – Dearborn

College students from the University of Michigan- Dearborn Society of Women Engineers worked with our Stout students to make hydrogel objects as they discussed the engineering career with them. The students enjoyed the activity and learned about ions, molecules, and chemical reactions.

Engineering Connection

Hydrogels are hydrated polymers that exhibit high elasticity and strength. sodium alginate is a natural hydrophilic biopolymer typically obtained from brown marine algae (such as seaweed), suitable for making hydrogels. The cross-linked polymer swells up in contact with water to form an insoluble hydrogel, with properties intermediate between those of a solid and a liquid. This unique material can be utilized in medicine for drug delivery and implantable medical devices. Potential uses are in tissue repair, cartilages, herniated discs, and implants as bio printed (3D printable) material.