Fibrous hydrogels under biaxial confinement.

TitleFibrous hydrogels under biaxial confinement.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsY Li, Y Li, E Prince, JI Weitz, S Panyukov, A Ramachandran, M Rubinstein, and E Kumacheva
JournalNature Communications
Start Page3264
Date Published06/2022

Confinement of fibrous hydrogels in narrow capillaries is of great importance in biological and biomedical systems. Stretching and uniaxial compression of fibrous hydrogels have been extensively studied; however, their response to biaxial confinement in capillaries remains unexplored. Here, we show experimentally and theoretically that due to the asymmetry in the mechanical properties of the constituent filaments that are soft upon compression and stiff upon extension, filamentous gels respond to confinement in a qualitatively different manner than flexible-strand gels. Under strong confinement, fibrous gels exhibit a weak elongation and an asymptotic decrease to zero of their biaxial Poisson's ratio, which results in strong gel densification and a weak flux of liquid through the gel. These results shed light on the resistance of strained occlusive clots to lysis with therapeutic agents and stimulate the development of effective endovascular plugs from gels with fibrous structures for stopping vascular bleeding or suppressing blood supply to tumors.

Short TitleNature Communications