Dr. Michael Buche’s paper on statistical mechanics derived modeling of mechanoresponsive elastomers is now out in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids. Titled “Chain breaking in the statistical mechanical constitutive theory of polymer networks,” it methodically derives a constitutive model for elastomer networks with breakable bonds that encompasses and expands beyond the existing theories of transient networks and irreversible rate independent bond fracture.
In collaboration with the Kilian and Kruzic groups at the University of New South Wales, Michael also extended this model and applied it to a novel double network hydrogel that releases small molecules in response to applied load. This approach could be used to create implants with load responsive drug release. This second paper, “Force-mediated molecule release from double network hydrogels” is now published in Chemical Communications.