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CAGIS Clubhouse

Jelly Synthesis

Lab materials under a fumehood

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Have you ever heard of a hydrogel? It’s a special material that scientists and engineers are using to revolutionise medicine! In this session, we will create our own gel-like substance with a biomedical engineering researcher. Explore how hydrogels are made in the lab, and learn how they can be used to improve how medicine gets to parts of the body.



Ages 7-11: 8 am PT • 9 am MT • 10 am CT • 11 am ET • 12 pm AT
Ages 11-16: 10 am PT • 11 am MT • 12 pm CT • 1 pm ET • 2 pm AT

Materials and Preparation

You will need the following materials to complete the activity:

  • Borax*
  • Clear or white school glue (e.g., Elmer’s liquid glue)
  • Any funnel or sheet of paper to form a funnel
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 2 additional spoons or mixing sticks
  • 1-2 bowls
  • A container with 1 L of water in it
  • Food colouring (optional)
*Borax is very strongly preferred for this experiment and will produce the best results. However, if you are unable to get borax, you may be able to try doing the experiment using contact lens solution and baking soda instead.

Meet the Expert

Lia Huo

Lia Huo

Lia is a biomedical engineering candidate pursuing a dual MD and PhD degree at the University of Toronto. She is one of five Canadian researchers who were awarded a L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship in 2023.

In the laboratory, Lia’s research aims to sustain the release of therapeutic proteins in the eye to combat blinding diseases. Outside of the lab, Lia has a passion for science communication and mentoring young girls who are interested in a career path in STEM. She is very excited to discuss hydrogel chemistry and hopes to inspire curiosity surrounding polymer chemistry and its applications.

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