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Modeling of bioinspired hydrogel nanocomposite for 4D printing and removal of microplastics from water

Grant number: 21/00380-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Silvia Lenyra Meirelles Campos Titotto
Grantee:Beatriz Sakamoto Arsuffi
Host Institution: Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciências Sociais Aplicadas (CECS). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):21/10037-5 - 4D printing of functional nanocellulose-PNIPAM hydrogels with potential to capture microplastics, BE.EP.IC


This interdisciplinary research utilizes biomimetics and computer modeling for the development of a bioinspired hydrogel nanocomposite, aiming to provide the basis for its 4D printing and application in the removal of microplastics from drinking water, the largest source of human intake of plastic particles. Conventional water treatments are ineffective for the filtration of microplastics, and the consequences of plastic consumption on human health are still being investigated. In this sense, hydrogel nanocomposites have been attracting great attention in the detection and removal of pollutants from water, due to their high capacity of expansion and adsorption of particles in their structure. The swelling and contraction ability caused by changes in the hydrophilic character of the hydrogel, allows its responsiveness according to external stimuli, making it a material with potential for 4D printing. The choice of the hydrogel nanocomposite to be modeled in this work will take into account the most suitable chemical composition for the attraction of microplastics, the responsive character to different environmental conditions, and the bioinspiration in the ability of the jellyfish mucus to capture nanoparticles from water. For the 2D and 3D modeling of the hydrogel network structure the Autodesk Fusion 360 software will be used and for the molecular modeling of the hydrogel nanocomposite, the Avogadro software. The analysis of the results will occur through simulations using Monte Carlo methods.

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