Transient materials that function out-of-equilibrium have been of great interest due to their unique properties that are rarely observed in thermodynamically stable occasions. However, the current advances are still limited to supramolecular objects, and the applications using this transient nature remain largely unexplored. Herein we report on chemical fuel powered transient polymer hydrogels for controlled formation and free release of pharmaceutical crystals. The transient polymer hydrogels with highly tunable stiffness and lifetime were created by chemical fuel powered crosslinking, which can be well regenerated without obvious deteriorations by simply refueling. On the basis of these properties, especially the transient nature, these hydrogels can serve as novel reusable platforms to control the pharmaceutical crystallization, more importantly, freely release the obtained crystals, which is inaccessible by conventional static gels. This work is expected to serve as an example to accelerate the development of more advanced out-of-equilibrium materials and exploitations of their high-tech applications.
- Dynamic crosslinking
- Out-of-equilibrium systems
- Pharmaceutical crystallization
- Transient materials