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Japanese Scientists invented “elastic water”, paving the way for ecologically clean plastic materials

Bo Li's picture

According to the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japanese Scientists invented “Elastic Water”. Also made it to the news of Japan’s National TV channel NHK, Japanese scientists from Tokyo University invented a new substance that consists of 95% water. Obtained by adding two grams of clay and a small quantity of some organic matter into normal water, this new substance is jelly-like and is considered proper for usage in medicine for the long-term to stick tissues together.

The study period is scheduled to end in September 2010, if the scientists can succeed in increase the density of the substance, it can be used to produce ecologically clean plastic materials.

A report has already been published in the latest issue of British scientific magazine “Nature”.“elastic-water”-paving-the-way-for-ecologically-clean-plastic-materials 


Lianhua Ma's picture

From the concept of so-called “elastic water”, it looks like a gel which can exhibit elastic behaviour.
General gel (see Prof. Suo's papers concerning polymeric gels--  A theory of coupled diffusion and large deformation in polymeric gels. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 56, 1779-1793 (2008). ) can be viewed as a mixture including water and poly network, whereas the elastic water is a new mixture(water+clay +organic matter ).

The mechanical behaviour of the new material maybe provoke some more research interests.

Mike Ciavarella's picture



Nature 463,
339-343 (21 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08693;
Received 27 May 2009;
Accepted 17 October 2009

mouldable hydrogels by mixing clay and a dendritic molecular binder

Qigang Wang1,
Justin L. Mynar1,2,
Masaru Yoshida3,
Eunji Lee4,
Myongsoo Lee4,
Kou Okuro1,
Kazushi Kinbara1
Takuzo Aida1,2

  1. Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The
    University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
  2. ERATO-SORST Nanospace Project, Japan Science and Technology Agency,
    National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, 2-41 Aomi, Koto-ku,
    Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
  3. Nanotechnology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced
    Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki
    305-8565, Japan
  4. Center for Supramolecular Nano-Assembly and Department of Chemistry,
    Seoul National University, 599 Kwanak-ro, Seoul 151-747, Korea

Correspondence to: Justin L. Mynar1,2Takuzo
Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to T.A.
or J.L.M. (Email:

With the world’s
focus on reducing our dependency on fossil-fuel energy, the scientific
community can investigate new plastic materials that are much less
dependent on petroleum than are conventional plastics. Given increasing
environmental issues, the idea of replacing plastics with water-based
gels, so-called hydrogels, seems reasonable. Here we report that water
and clay (2–3per cent
by mass), when mixed with a very small proportion (<0.4per cent by mass) of organic
components, quickly form a transparent hydrogel. This material can be
moulded into shape-persistent, free-standing objects owing to its
exceptionally great mechanical strength, and rapidly and completely
self-heals when damaged. Furthermore, it preserves biologically active
proteins for catalysis. So far1
no other hydrogels, including conventional ones formed by mixing
polymeric cations and anions2,
or polysaccharides and borax4,
have been reported to possess all these features. Notably, this
material is formed only by non-covalent forces resulting from the
specific design of a telechelic dendritic macromolecule with multiple
adhesive termini for binding to clay.



If you make reference only from a random blog, and no reference to exact links to the "british journal" Nature, people could think it is perhaps a bluff or a joke!



Michele Ciavarella, Politecnico di BARI - Italy, Rector's delegate.
Editor, Italian Science Debate,
Associate Editor, Ferrari Millechili Journal,

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