Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering


Julie M. Hasenwinkel

Second Advisor

James H. Henderson

Subject Categories



The double network synthesis technique has gained popularity in the past few years as a method to create hydrogels with high strength and toughness, making them ideal for a plethora of applications, such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and biosensors. The technique revolves around creating a ductile, weak network in the same space as a brittle, strong network. With the development of the synthesis technique, researchers have investigated both why these materials have the reported properties and finding new ways to synthesize them or use them in different applications. In this work, I aim to add on both aspects of this research. First, I investigated how brittle network variables affect the mechanical properties of the double network to expand our knowledge of double network behavior. Next, as part of a collaborative project with the Soman Lab, I helped develop a double network hydrogel that could be synthesized using a novel photolithography setup for making complex 3D microstructures. Lastly, a slug glue protein laden hydrogel was developed in the hopes of making a novel double network for the purposes of investigating the effects of glue protein and metal ion interactions.


Open Access

Available for download on Sunday, August 15, 2021

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Engineering Commons