Biomedical applications of electroactive polymer actuators by Federico Carpi, Elisabeth Smela

By Federico Carpi, Elisabeth Smela

Giving primary info on the most promising households of clever fabrics, electroactive polymers (EAP) this intriguing new titles makes a speciality of the various biomedical purposes made attainable via a lot of these fabrics and their similar actuation applied sciences. every one bankruptcy presents an outline of the explicit EAP fabric and machine configuration used, fabric processing, equipment assembling and trying out, in addition to an outline of the biomedical software.

Edited by means of well-respected lecturers within the box of electroactive polymers with contributions from popular overseas specialists, this is often an exceptional source for commercial and educational learn scientists, engineers, technicians and graduate scholars operating with polymer actuators or within the fields of polymer technology.


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These gels are produced by forming a moderately tightly cross-linked network, then swelling this gel in a solution of a second monomer with a low ratio of cross-linking agent and carrying out a second polymerization. As a result of the high degree of swelling in the monomer solution, the first gel network is highly extended in the final product while the second network is relaxed. The weight fraction of the second network in the final gel is 10–20 times that of the first network. 1 Stress–strain curves from DN gels show much higher strength than conventional gels (Reprinted with permission from Gong, J.

If gels are to be used as actuators, they must be mechanically robust. Most current applications of gels are in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics where mechanical properties are not a major concern. Muscle as an actuator develops a force of about 300 kPa and a strain of 25 %. If these are regarded as target numbers, a gel actuator should be strong enough to easily withstand the force developed, and so the fracture strength should be at least 1 MPa. In addition, it should be stiff enough that, in lifting a weight for instance, an active contraction is not simply cancelled by passive extension under the load.

Thus there would seem to be considerable opportunities for better characterization of gelation of synthetic ionic Polymer Gel Actuators: Fundamentals 19 polymers and for the study of more structured synthetic gel systems formed by other polymerization chemistries. This should lead to a better understanding of the whole structure–mechanical properties map for gels. 4 Actuation Methods The merit of a muscle-like actuator depends on a fast response time, a high contractile force and a large actuation strain.

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