In our group, highly transparent shape memory gels were successfully synthesized for the first time in the world. These
gels have the high strength of 3MPs modulus even with the water content of 40wt% water and high transparency. We
consider that these highly transparent and high strength gels can be applied to the optical devices such as intraocular-lenses
and optical fibers. In previous research by our group, attempts were made to manufacture the gel intraocular-lenses using
highly transparent shape memory gels. However, it was too difficult to print the intraocular-lens finely enough. Here, we
focus on a 3D printer, which can produce objects of irregular shape. 3D printers generally we fused deposition modeling
(FDM), a stereo lithography apparatus (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS). Because highly transparent shape memory
gels are gelled by light irradiation, we used 3D printer with stereo lithography apparatus (SLA). In this study, we found
the refractive index of highly transparent shape memory gels depend on monomer concentration, and does not depend on
the cross-linker or initiator concentration. Furthermore, the cross-linker and initiator concentration can change the gelation
progression rate. As a result, we have developed highly transparent shape memory gels, which can have a range of
refractive indexes, and we defined the optimal conditions that can be modeling in the 3D printer by changing the cross-linker
and initiator concentration. With these discoveries we were able to produce a gel intraocular-lens replica.
In recent years, the fabrication of patient organ replicas using 3D printers has been attracting a great deal of attention in
medical fields. However, the cost of these organ replicas is very high as it is necessary to employ very expensive 3D
printers and printing materials. Here we present a new gel organ replica, of human kidney, fabricated with a conventional
molding technique, using a particle-double network hydrogel (P-DN gel). The replica is transparent and has the feel of a
real kidney. It is expected that gel organ replicas produced this way will be a useful tool for the education of trainee
surgeons and clinical ultrasonography technologists. In addition to developing a gel organ replica, the internal structure
of the P-DN gel used is also discussed. Because the P-DN gel has a complex structure comprised of two different types
of network, it has not been possible to investigate them internally in detail. Gels have an inhomogeneous network
structure. If it is able to get a more uniform structure, it is considered that this would lead to higher strength in the gel. In
the present study we investigate the structure of P-DN gel, using the gel organ replica. We investigated the internal
structure of P-DN gel using Scanning Microscopic Light Scattering (SMILS), a non-contacting and non-destructive.
Shape Memory Gel (SMG) is one of the most interesting unique soft and wet materials. The elastic modulus of the SMG
is changed by the kinds of solvent ( S-switch SMG). Here we have an idea that these properties are possibly applied to
develop a novel gel-switch chemical semiconductor, named “Gel-con(ductor)”. The Gel-con will be made from the
combination of the different kinds of the S-switch gel membranes and is used to rectify the flux of the solvent in
chemical circuits, where the solvent molecules behave as electron and hole.
Gels are a new material having three-dimensional network structures of macromolecules. They possess excellent
properties as swellability, high permeability and biocompatibility, and have been applied in various fields of daily life,
food, medicine, architecture, and chemistry. In this study, we tried to prepare new multi-functional and high-strength
gels by using Meso-Decoration (Meso-Deco), one new method of structure design at intermediate mesoscale.
High-performance rigid-rod aromatic polymorphic crystals, and the functional groups of thermoreversible Diels-Alder
reaction were introduced into soft gels as crosslinkable pendent chains. The functionalization and strengthening of gels
can be realized by meso-decorating the gels’ structure using high-performance polymorphic crystals and
thermoreversible pendent chains. New gels with good mechanical properties, novel optical properties and thermal
properties are expected to be developed.