Retaining and regaining hydrogel mechanical properties

Study level


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Associate Professor Travis Klein
IHBI Theme Leader - Injury Prevention and Trauma Management
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Christoph Meinert
Visiting Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Hydrogels have great potential in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, where they serve as an artificial extracellular matrix. However, they typically have poor mechanical properties, which limits their applications.  Double network hydrogels can overcome some of these limitations, with substantially improved stiffness and toughness compared to traditional single network hydrogels.  Nonetheless, double network hydrogels can lose these properties over time and with repeated loading.

Research activities

The research will take place in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (KG-Q).  You will be part of the Cartilage Regeneration Laboratory, and work with HDR students, post-docs, and more senior researchers.  Tasks will include:

  • Literature review
  • Laboratory induction
  • Hydrogel solution preparation
  • Hydrogel formation
  • Mechanical testing
  • Data analysis
  • Report writing
  • Presentation of your findings


This project aims to develop strategies to retain the mechanical properties of double network hydrogels and regain the properties that have been lost over time.

Skills and experience

We are looking for an enthusiastic student interested in performing laboratory experiments. The ideal candidate would have a basic understanding of biomaterials and biomechanics, and laboratory experience. However, these are not required. You will get training from laboratory staff regarding use of laboratory equipment, and CRL members regarding formation and evaluation of hydrogels.



Please contact Associate Professor Travis Klein, head of the Cartilage Regeneration Laboratory, for more information.