39. electrospinning liquid crystal elastomers for the application of artificial muscles

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials & Systems
Faculty Advisor(s): Shengqiang Cai

Primary Student
Name: Philip Farris Oweimrin
Email: poweimri@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-534-2372
Grad Year: 2018

The muscles of a human body have very significant and fascinating mechanical properties. The bundle of organic fibers that make up a muscle have the ability to expand and contract due to an outside stimulus such as temperature. Currently, liquid crystal elastomers (LCE), materials that inhabit both structural and elastic properties, are being studied due to their actuation behaviors which are similar to muscles. This study has been taken a step further to accurately develop artificial muscles. Successfully electrospinning microscale fibers can drastically increase these actuation properties due to the increase in the alignment of molecules when these fibers are pulled from a bulk material. The parameters for electrospinning and synthesizing the LCE are constantly being adjusted to create more ideal fibers which can eventually lead to the creation of artificial muscles.

Industry Application Area(s)
Aerospace, Defense, Security | Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials

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