Hydrogel composite materials


Thursday, 13 September, 2012 - 12:00


M10, Chemical Science Building (F10)


School of Chemistry

Type of event: 


Presenter: Associate Professor Marc in het Panhuis

Institution: University of Wollongong


Biomedical devices have to date been dominated by the use of traditional conductors such as metals. An alternative is to look at soft gel-based devices, with the materials employed dictated by the intended application as well as the implant area.

In this presentation, I will discuss the formation of conducting materials based on the addition of conducting fillers such as carbon nanotubes and conducting polymers to hydrogel forming biopolymers such as gellan gum.

Gellan gum is US FDA and European Union (E418) approved for food and medical usage, and is an emerging bio-material. I will highlight some of the bio-aspects of gellan gum including degradation behaviour and ability to support living cells.

In addition, this polymer is an excellent dispersant of carbon materials and has the appropriate flow properties for the controlled dispensing of conducting networks through extrusion printing. The mechanical and electrical characteristics of printed conducting structures and interpenetrating network hydrogels materials will be discussed.


Marc in het Panhuis received a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Twente (the Netherlands) and a Ph.D. in Physics from The University of Dublin, Trinity College (Ireland). He has worked for Media Lab Europe & Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), the Universities of Hull & Manchester (United Kingdom), and the University of Texas at Dallas (U.S.A.) before joining the University of Wollongong in Australia in 2006.

He is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry, Head of the Soft Materials Group and Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science.

His main focus is to combine biopolymers with carbon nanostructures, conducting polymers and nanoparticles into soft materials for water treatment, bionic and tissue engineering applications.