Biological & Soft Matter Seminar: The Mysteries of Shape-Morphing Polymeric Fiber-Networks: How a Single Microfiber Influences the Collective Morphing Behavior
Amit Sitt, TAU
Active shape-morphing networks comprising mesoscale filaments are a ubiquitous hierarchical feature observed in biological systems and are involved in a wide range of processes, including cell division and motility. However, building synthetic equivalents of these networks with microscale precision is a highly challenging task. In this talk, I will describe the fabrication of soft, highly-ordered 2D networks, which are hierarchically assembled from thermoresponsive mesoscale polymeric fibers. Due to the hierarchical nature of these networks, they exhibit unique and non-trivial shape-morphing behaviors, which are influenced by the properties of the individual filaments, as well as the density and symmetry of the network. I will present the different morphing behaviors of mesoscale fiber-networks and demonstrate that the transition between these behaviors is analogous to a second-order phase transition. Lastly, I will present how this knowledge opens the path for programming the morphing of such networks towards soft actuators and artificial muscles with microscale morphing resolutions.