Self-regulated and temporal control of a "breathing" microgel mediated by enzymatic reaction

H. Che, B.C. Buddingh, J.C.M. van Hest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)


Naturally occurring systems have the ability to self-regulate, which plays a key role in their structural and functional adaptation. The autonomous behavior in living systems is biocatalytically controlled by the continuous consumption of energy to remain in a non-equilibrium condition. In this work, we show the construction of a self-regulated breathing microgel that uses chemical fuels to keep the system in the out-of-equilibrium state. The enzyme urease is utilized to program a feedback-induced pH change, which in turn tunes the size switch and fluorescence intensity of the microgel. A continuous supply of chemical fuels to the system allows the process to be reversible. This microgel with tunable autonomous properties provides insights into the design of artificial systems and dynamic soft materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)12581-12585
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • breathing microgels
  • enzyme catalysis
  • feedback mechanism
  • non-equilibrium processes
  • self-regulation
  • Biocatalysis
  • Fluorescence
  • Particle Size
  • Nylons/chemistry
  • Urease/chemistry
  • Enzymes, Immobilized/chemistry
  • Methacrylates/chemistry
  • Urea/chemistry
  • Gels/chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-regulated and temporal control of a "breathing" microgel mediated by enzymatic reaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this