Session 1Session 3Session 5Session 7Session 9Session 11
(7-9 pm)
Session 2Session 4Session 6Session 8Session10Session12
All times in US Eastern Time (EDT)

Monday (5/24)

  1. Monday Morning Session (9-11 am EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Xuanhe Zhao (MIT)

1A. Zhigang Suo, Harvard University
Elastic dissipaters: highly fatigue-resistant materials (recording)

1B. Takamasa Sakai, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Negative energy elasticity in a rubber-like gel (recording, first 28 mins)

1C. Nate Richbourg and Nicholas Peppas, University of Texas at Austin
Predicting hydrogel mechanics from network structure: possibilities and pitfalls (recording)

1D. Franck Vernerey, University of Colorado Boulder
Mechanics of transient networks: harnessing the dynamic competition between flow and elasticity (recording)

Panel discussion (starting from the 41 min mark)

  1. Monday Evening Session (7-9 pm EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Jian Ping Gong (Hokkaido University)

2A. Kunpeng Cui and Jian Ping Gong, Hokkaido University (Japan)
Tough and self-healing physical hydrogels composed of polyampholytes (recording)

2B. Alan Zehnder, Cornell University
Deformation and fracture mechanics of a dual cross-link hydrogel (recording)

2C. Koichi Mayumi, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Tough and robust hydrogels: self-reinforcement by strain-induced crystallization (no recording)

2D. Tongqing Lu, Xi’an Jiaotong University (China)
A phenomenological model for strain softening behavior of tough gels (recording)

Panel discussion (starting from the 30 min mark)


Tuesday (5/25)

  1. Tuesday Morning Session (9-11 am EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Zhigang Suo (Harvard University)

3A. Matteo Ciccotti, ESPCI Paris (France)
Adhesion rupture in laminated glass: influence of adhesion on the energy dissipation mechanisms (recording)

3B. Rong Long, University of Colorado Boulder
Experimental characterization of crack propagation in soft materials with a particle tracking method (recording, starting from 30 min mark)

3C. Philippe Coussot, Univ. Paris-Est (France)
Wetting and dewetting of hydrogels (as model materials of plant-like systems) governed by water diffusion through the structure (recording)

3D. Robert Style, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Controlling phase separation with soft gels (recording)

Panel discussion

  1. Tuesday Evening Session (7-9 pm EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Tongqing Lu (Xi’an Jiaotong University)

4A. Hua Li, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
A multiphysics modelling of urea-sensitive hydrogel (recording)

4B. Lihua Jin, University of California, Los Angeles
Spatiotemporal behavior of responsive hydrogels (recording)

4C. Manuel Rausch, University of Texas at Austin
The mechanics of blood clot as the body’s own hydrogel (recording)

4D. Wei Hong, Southern University of Science and Technology (China)
Mechanics of physical gels (recording)

Panel discussion


Wednesday (5/26)

  1. Wednesday Morning Session (9-11 am EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Constantino Creton (ESPCI Paris)

5A. Alfred J. Crosby, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Polymer gels for synthetic Latch-mediated Spring Actuation (LaMSA) systems (recording)

5B. Liheng Cai, University of Virginia
Adaptive soft materials from sequence-controlled supramolecular assembly (no recording)

5C. Ryan Hayward, University of Colorado-Boulder
Light-driven buckling, assembly, and motion of nanocomposite hydrogel sheets at air/water interfaces (recording)

5D. Megan Valentine, University of California, Santa Barbara
Nature-inspired materials for load-bearing and actuation (recording)

Panel discussion (starting from the 33-min mark)

  1. Wednesday Evening Session (7-9 pm EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Hua Li (Nanyang Technological University)

6A. Wenguang Liu, Tianjin University (China)
PNAGA and its variant hydrogels for diverse biomedical applications (recording1, recording2)

6B. Stevin Gehrke, University of Kansas
Control and evaluation of network structures of hydrogels designed for biomedical applications by mechanical testing and low field NMR (recording)

6C. Michael Sacks, University of Texas at Austin
High fidelity simulation of heart valve interstitial cell contractile behaviour in 3D gels (recording)

6D. Jingda Tang, Xi’an Jiaotong University (China)
Fabricating soft materials of complex shapes and high fatigue resistance to mimic biological tissues (recording)


Thursday (5/27)

  1. Thursday Morning Session (9-11 am EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Al Crosby (University of Massachusetts)

7A. Christoph Keplinger, Max Planck Institute (Germany)
Artificial muscles for a new generation of lifelike robots (no recording)

7B. Martin Kaltenbrunner, Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria)
Degradable Biogels with Extreme Mechanics for Soft Robots and Electronics (recording)

7C. Timothy J. White, University of Colorado Boulder
Programmable, Adaptive, and Nonlinear Mechanics in Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (recording)

7D. Shu Yang, University of Pennsylvania
Programmable geometric liquid crystal elastomers with embedded intelligence (recording)

Panel discussion

  1. Thursday Evening Session (7-9 pm EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Ruobing Bai (Northeastern University)

8A. Xuanhe Zhao and Shaoting Lin, MIT
Extreme hydrogel technology (recording)

8B. Bruce P. Lee, Michigan Tech. University
Smart adhesive hydrogels based on mussel chemistry (recording)

8C. Yang Gao, Xi’an Jiaotong University (China)
Hydrogel adhesion: the detachability, universality and medical application (recording)

8D. Qiming Wang, University of Southern California
Mechanics of self-healing polymer networks (recording)

Panel discussion (starting from 33-min mark)


Friday (5/28)

  1. Friday Morning Session (9-11 am EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: K. Ravi-Chandar (university of Texas at Austin)

9A. Tristan Baumberger, Sorbonne University (France)
Environmental control of crack propagation in soft gels (recording)

9B: Michelle L. Oyen, East Carolina University
Failure and fracture of hydrogel spheres and hydrogel composites (recording)

9C. Shelby Hutchens, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
On the relation between cutting energy and tearing energy (recording)

9D. Konstantin Volokh, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)
Modeling cracks in soft materials (recording)

Panel discussion

  1. Friday Evening Session (7-9 pm EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Qiming Wang (University of Southern California)

10A. Guihua Yu, University of Texas at Austin
Multifunctional Hydrogels for Sustainable Energy and Environment (no recording)

10B. Teng Zhang, Syracuse University
Transformative appetite, a smart hydrogel (recording)

10C. Shengqiang Cai, University of California, San Diego
3D printing of functionally graded liquid crystal elastomers (recording)

10D. Jeong-Yun Sun, Seoul National University (Korea)
Ionic spiderwebs (recording)

Panel discussion


Saturday (5/29)

  1. Saturday Morning Session (9-11 am EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Nikolas Bouklas (Cornell University)

11A. Si Chen and K. Ravi-Chandar, University of Texas at Austin
Nonlinear poroviscoelasticity of gelatin based hydrogel (recording)

11B. Shawn Chester, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Inelasticity in polymeric gels (recording)

11C. Yuhang Hu, Georgia Institute of Technology
Contact mechanics of hydrogels (recording)

11D. Isaac Kuo-Kang Liu, University of Warwick (UK)
Characterizing mechanical and interfacial properties of hydrogel to study cell mechanics (no recording)

Panel discussion

  1. Saturday Evening Session (7-9 pm EDT)

Zoom link:
Session Chair: Rong Long (University of Colorado Boulder)

12A. Nikolaos Bouklas, Cornell University
Affine and non-affine microsphere models for chain scission in polydisperse elastomer networks (recording)

12B. Shaoxing Qu, Zhejiang University (China)
Mechanical properties of frozen hydrogel (recording)

12C. Naoyuki Sakumichi, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Velocity jump of crack propagation in rubber-like materials (recording, starting from the 33-min mark)

12D. Rui Huang, University of Texas at Austin
A multiscale cohesive zone model for rate-dependent fracture of polymer interfaces (recording)

Panel discussion

Recent Posts


Polymer gels consist of cross-linked polymer chains and solvent molecules (e.g., water). The mechanical properties of polymer gels are similar to soft biological tissues such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, skin, and nerves. As a result, polymer gels have been widely used in biomedical applications. More recently, polymer gels have also been exploited as a class of soft active materials with sensing and actuating properties in the development of soft machines and soft robotics. These applications have motivated development of tough gels as well as fundamental studies on the mechanics of polymer gels. An extremely active field of research has emerged lately that brings together researchers across multiple fields including polymer chemistry, soft matter physics, and solid mechanics. Inspired by the recent developments, this symposium aims to stimulate and strengthen the cross-fertilization among active researchers from diverse background working on the experimental, theoretical and numerical aspects of smart and/or tough gels, with an emphasis on the mechanics as the unifying theme.