Publication Details

Kim, T. Hyeob., Choi, J. Gi., Byun, J. Young., Jang, Y., Kim, S. Min., Spinks, G. M. & Kim, S. Jeong. (2019). Biomimetic Thermal-sensitive Multi-transform Actuator. Scientific Reports, 9 7905-1-7905-7.


Controllable and miniaturised mechanical actuation is one of the main challenges facing various emerging technologies, such as soft robotics, drug delivery systems, and microfluidics. Here we introduce a simple method for constructing actuating devices with programmable complex motions. Thermally responsive hydrogels based on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and its functionalized derivatives (f-PNIPAM) were used to control the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) or the temperature at which the gel volume changes. Techniques for ultra-violet crosslinking the monomer solutions were developed to generate gel sheets with controllable crosslink density gradients that allowed bending actuation to specified curvatures by heating through the LCST. Simple molding processes were then used to construct multi-transform devices with complex shape changes, including a bioinspired artificial flower that shows blossoming and reverse blossoming with a change in temperature.



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