Engineering surface wettability is of great importance in academic research and practical applications. The exploration of hydrogel-based natural surfaces with superior properties has revealed new design principles of surface superwettability. Gels are composed of a cross-linked polymer network that traps numerous solvents through weak interactions. The natural fluidity of the trapped solvents confers the liquid-like property to gel surfaces, making them significantly different from solid surfaces. Bioinspired gel surfaces have shown promising applications in diverse fields. This work aims to summarize the fundamental understanding and emerging applications of bioinspired gel surfaces with superwettability and special adhesion. First, several typical hydrogel-based natural surfaces with superwettability and special adhesion are briefly introduced, followed by highlighting the unique properties and design principles of gel-based surfaces. Then, the superwettability and emerging applications of bioinspired gel surfaces, including liquid/liquid separation, antiadhesion of organisms and solids, and fabrication of thin polymer films, are presented in detail. Finally, an outlook on the future development of these novel gel surfaces is also provided.
- liquid-like surfaces