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Special Issue "Stimuli-responsive Polymer Systems-recent Manufacturing Techniques and Applications"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Manufacturing Processes and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Akif Kaynak

School of Engineering, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, 3217, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: conducting polymers; sensors; actuators
Guest Editor
Dr. Ali Zolfagharian

Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, 3217, Australia
E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Stimuli-responsive polymer systems can be defined as functional materials that show physical or chemical property changes in response to external stimuli such as temperature, radiation, chemical agents, pH, mechanical stress, and electric and magnetic fields. Recent developments in manufacturing techniques facilitated production of different types of stimuli-responsive polymer systems such as micro and nanoscale structures with potential applications in soft sensors and actuators, smart textiles, soft robots and artificial muscles.

This Special Issue aims to focus on recent significant progress in manufacturing techniques and applications of stimuli-responsive polymer systems and will consider full research papers, communications, and review articles for publication. We would like to bring together a collection of comprehensive reviews from leading experts and up-to-date researches from notable groups in the community.

Suggested topics:

  • Multiple-stimuli responsive polymers; shape memory polymers
  • Elastomers; hydrogels; polyelectrolytes
  • Electroactive polymers and gels; conjugated polymers
  • Manufacturing of stimuli responsive polymer systems; 3D printing; lithography
  • Modelling and control of responsive polymer sensors and actuators
  • Self-folding polymers; origami, auxetic, or voxel structures
  • Batteries, capacitors; electrochemical transistors

Dr. Akif Kaynak
Dr. Ali Zolfagharian
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Responsive polymers
  • actuators
  • sensors
  • 3D printing

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Stimuli-Responsive Systems in Optical Humidity-Detection Devices
Materials 2019, 12(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12020327
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
The use of electronic devices to measure Relative Humidity (RH) is widespread. However, under certain circumstances, for example when explosive gases are present, a spark-free method should be used. Here we suggest the use of stimuli-responsive materials, like gelatin and interpenetrated polymers, to [...] Read more.
The use of electronic devices to measure Relative Humidity (RH) is widespread. However, under certain circumstances, for example when explosive gases are present, a spark-free method should be used. Here we suggest the use of stimuli-responsive materials, like gelatin and interpenetrated polymers, to detect RH with an optical method. These materials are hydrophilic. When water vapor is absorbed by the films the molecules attach to the films molecular network. The result is that the film thickness increases and their refractive index changes. To detect the change of these two parameters an optical method based on diffraction gratings is employed. Surface diffraction gratings are recorded on the films. Then gratings are placed in an optical configuration that is immersed in a climatic chamber. A light beam is sent to the grating where it is diffracted. Several light orders appear. Due to the absorption of water molecules the films swell and grating surface modulation changes. This implies that the diffracted orders intensity changes. A calibrating plot relating intensity as a function of RH is obtained. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Control-Oriented Modelling of a 3D-Printed Soft Actuator
Materials 2019, 12(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12010071
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 26 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new type of soft actuator was developed by using hydrogel materials and three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, attracting the attention of researchers in the soft robotics field. Due to parametric uncertainties of such actuators, which originate in both a custom design nature of [...] Read more.
A new type of soft actuator was developed by using hydrogel materials and three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, attracting the attention of researchers in the soft robotics field. Due to parametric uncertainties of such actuators, which originate in both a custom design nature of 3D printing as well as time and voltage variant characteristics of polyelectrolyte actuators, a sophisticated model to estimate their behaviour is required. This paper presents a practical modeling approach for the deflection of a 3D printed soft actuator. The suggested model is composed of electrical and mechanical dynamic models while the earlier version describes the actuator as a resistive-capacitive (RC) circuit. The latter model relates the ionic charges to the bending of an actuator. The experimental results were acquired to estimate the transfer function parameters of the developed model incorporating Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy sets. The proposed model was successful in estimating the end-point trajectory of the actuator, especially in response to a broad range of input voltage variation. With some modifications in the electromechanical aspects of the model, the proposed modelling method can be used with other 3D printed soft actuators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Shape-Memory Effect of Hindered Phenol (AO-80)/Acrylic Rubber (ACM) Composites with Tunable Transition Temperature
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122461
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
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Abstract
To broaden the types and scope of use of shape-memory polymers (SMPs), we added the hindered phenol 3,9-bis[1,1-dimethyl-2-{b-(3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl)propionyloxy}ethyl]-2,4,8,10-tetraoxaspiro-[5,5]-undecane (AO-80), which comprises small organic molecules, to acrylic rubber (ACM) to form a series of AO-80/ACM rubber composites. The structural, thermal, mechanical property, and shape-memory [...] Read more.
To broaden the types and scope of use of shape-memory polymers (SMPs), we added the hindered phenol 3,9-bis[1,1-dimethyl-2-{b-(3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl)propionyloxy}ethyl]-2,4,8,10-tetraoxaspiro-[5,5]-undecane (AO-80), which comprises small organic molecules, to acrylic rubber (ACM) to form a series of AO-80/ACM rubber composites. The structural, thermal, mechanical property, and shape-memory properties of the AO-80/ACM rubber composites were investigated. We identified the formation of intra-molecular hydrogen bonding between –OH of AO-80 and the carbonyl groups and the ether groups of ACM molecules. The amount of AO-80 used can be adjusted to tailor the transition temperature. AO-80/ACM rubber composites showed excellent shape recovery and fixity. The approach for adjusting the transition temperature of AO-80/ACM rubber composites provides remarkable ideas for the design and preparation of new SMPs. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview 3D Printing of Silk Fibroin for Biomedical Applications
Materials 2019, 12(3), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12030504
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is regarded as a critical technological-evolution in material engineering, especially for customized biomedicine. However, a big challenge that hinders the 3D printing technique applied in biomedical field is applicable bioink. Silk fibroin (SF) is used as a biomaterial for decades [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is regarded as a critical technological-evolution in material engineering, especially for customized biomedicine. However, a big challenge that hinders the 3D printing technique applied in biomedical field is applicable bioink. Silk fibroin (SF) is used as a biomaterial for decades due to its remarkable high machinability and good biocompatibility and biodegradability, which provides a possible alternate of bioink for 3D printing. In this review, we summarize the requirements, characteristics and processabilities of SF bioink, in particular, focusing on the printing possibilities and capabilities of bioink. Further, the current achievements of cell-loading SF based bioinks were comprehensively viewed from their physical properties, chemical components, and bioactivities as well. Finally, the emerging issues and prospects of SF based bioink for 3D printing are given. This review provides a reference for the programmable and multiple processes and the further improvement of silk-based biomaterials fabrication by 3D printing. Full article
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