Polymer Nanocomposite Microactuators for On-Demand Chemical Release via High-Frequency Magnetic Field Excitation
Seyed M Mirvakili, Quynh P Ngo, Robert Langer
When heated, the long chains of some polymers become more mobile. This increase in mobility expands the void space between the chains. We can use this property to make a “molecular switch” or a “micro/nano actuator” out of these polymers. Now, if we infiltrate these polymers with some macromolecules of interest and magnetic nanoparticles, when exciting them with high-frequency magnetic fields, the generated heat escalates the diffusion rate. Thus, enabling us to control the release of the macromolecules on demand!
For the purpose of illustration, PL and GA are shown in distinct colors with 50:50 length ratio. In reality, it is one long chain with the PL and GA distributed homogeneously along the length (as discussed in the paper).
More information: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c00648
Date: 9 June 2020
Magnetically Induced Thermal Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (MITPAM).
Seyed M Mirvakili, Douglas Sim, Ian W Hunter, Robert Langer
Pneumatic actuators require a source of pressure for operation. This pressure is often provided by bulky and pricey peripherals (compressors, valves, gas tanks, etc.). While working on a different project, through serendipity, I realized my approach could address the mentioned challenge associated with pneumatic actuators! We reduced the cost of the device from >$1000 to less than $60, which also makes soft robots and other pneumatic-based actuators portable and untethered!
More information: https://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/5/41/eaaz4239
Date: 15 April 2020
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