New Paper: Giving Direction to Motion and Surface with Ultra-Fast Speed Using Oriented Hydrogel Fibers
Giving Direction to Motion and Surface with Ultra-Fast Speed Using Oriented Hydrogel Fibers
Li Liu, Shaohua Jiang, Yue Sun, and Seema Agarwal, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2016, 26(7), 1021-1027.
Thermoresponsive hydrogel fibrous membranes showing directionally controlled movements and surface change with ultra-fast speed are presented for the first time. They show reversible coiling, rolling, bending, and twisting deformations in different controllable directions for many cycles (at least 50 cycles tried) with inside-out change in surfaces and shapes. Speed, reversibility, large-scale deformations and, most importantly, control over the direction of deformation is required in order to make synthetic actuators inspired from natural materials or otherwise. A polymeric synthetic material combining all these properties is still awaited.
This issue is addressed and provide a very simple system fulfilling all these requirements by combining porosity and asymmetric swelling/shrinking via orientation of hydrogel fibers at different angles in a fibrous membrane. Electrospinning is used as a tool for making membranes with fibers oriented at different angles.