Biomimetic Hydrogel-Based Actuating Systems

Authors

  • Leonid Ionov

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Hohe Str. 6, D-01069 Dresden, Germany
    • Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Hohe Str. 6, D-01069 Dresden, Germany.
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Abstract

Active motion is intrinsic to all kinds of living organisms from unicellular ones to humans and inspires development of synthetic actively moving materials. Hydrogels, which are three dimensional polymer networks imbibed with aqueous solutions, mimic the swelling/shrinking behavior of plant cells and produce macroscopic actuation upon swelling and shrinking. This Feature Article covers basic principles of design as well as recent advances in the development of hydrogel based actuating systems. It is discussed how simply swelling can be used to generate very complex multistep motion, which can be used to develop new optical devices, sensors, biomaterials, smart surface, etc.

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