Scientists at the University of Tokyo may have uncovered a way to make use of hydrogels as a suitable replacement for plastic.

Though hydrogels have been used as a replacement for plastic in medical developments since the 1980’s, scientists at the University of Tokyo may have uncovered a way to bring hydrogel technology closer to mainstream use. Normally limited by a lack of rigidity and durability, the Japanese scientists have added small amounts of clay to hydrogel compounds, which adhere to the existing polymer used to bind water into a gel. The resulting scaffolding creates a solid material, similar to plastic but with none of the toxic properties.

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