Morph-genetic bamboo-reinforced hydrogel complex for bio-mimetic actuator


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Stimuli-responsive hydrogels are most promising for the fabrication of autonomous bio-mimetic soft actuators. However, their weak actuation forces and isotropic volume change hinder their practical utilization as versatile actuators, owing to their fragility. Herein, we used the morph-genetic method to fabricate anisotropic bamboo/ poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogel (ABH) complex for use as soft actuator. First of all, the bamboo fiber structure provides an anisotropic framework for the ABH actuator to achieve precise deformational program-mability. Secondly, benefiting from the ultra-high directional strength (110 MPa) of bamboo, ABH actuator exhibits sufficiently robust mechanical property, which generates a powerful actuating force. Lastly, owing to the regulation of bamboo sheet and PNIPAM hydrogel, the ABH actuator not only achieves ultra-fast response speed (825 degrees /s of the bending speed), but also has excellent synergetic performance. We demonstrate several bio-mimetic actuating devices based on ABH actuator, inspired by the intricate motions of natural organisms, to highlight how the specific materials properties and their synergy can be systematically exploited for the rational design of soft actuators. Henceforth, it is anticipated that the development of hydrogel actuators could continue to benefit from the use of various naturally-anisotropic materials, such as shape-memory polymers or liquid crystals, for the preparation of further advanced hydrogel actuators by the morph-genetic method.
Morph -genetic materials, Hydrogel bio-mimetic actuators, Programmable complex deformations, Powerful actuating force, Ultra -fast responsiveness
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