Feedback-controlled hydrogels with homeostatic oscillations and dissipative signal transduction

Hang Zhang, Hao Zeng*, Amanda Eklund, Hongshuang Guo, Arri Priimagi*, Olli Ikkala*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Driving systems out of equilibrium under feedback control is characteristic for living systems, where homeostasis and dissipative signal transduction facilitate complex responses. This feature not only inspires dissipative dynamic functionalities in synthetic systems but also poses great challenges in designing novel pathways. Here we report feedback-controlled systems comprising two coupled hydrogels driven by constant light, where the system can be tuned to undergo stable homeostatic self-oscillations or damped steady states of temperature. We demonstrate that stable temperature oscillations can be utilized for dynamic colours and cargo transport, whereas damped steady states enable signal transduction pathways. Here mechanical triggers cause temperature changes that lead to responses such as bending motions inspired by the single-touch mechanoresponse in Mimosa pudica and the frequency-gated snapping motion inspired by the plant arithmetic in the Venus flytrap. The proposed concepts suggest generalizable feedback pathways for dissipative dynamic materials and interactive soft robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1310
Number of pages8
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number12
Early online date28 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dive into the research topics of 'Feedback-controlled hydrogels with homeostatic oscillations and dissipative signal transduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this