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17 May 2005 Forisome as biomimetic smart materials
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With the discovery in plants of the proteinaceous forisome crystalloid (Knoblauch et al. 2003), a novel nastic non-living, ATP-independent biological material became available to the designer of smart materials for advanced actuating and sensing. The in vitro studies of Knoblauch et al. show that forisomes (1-3 micron wide and 10-30 micron long) can be repeatedly stimulated to contract and expand anisotropically by shifting either the ambient pH or the ambient calcium ion concentration. In a device, the energy required for the transformations would be provided electrochemically by mini-electrodes inducing pH variation. Because of their unique abilities to develop and reverse strains greater than 20% in time periods less than 1s , forisomes have the potential to outperform current smart materials (such as ATP-dependent actuators or synthetic hydrogels/polymers) as advanced, biomimetic, multi-functional, smart sensors or valves or actuators. To date, studies have been limited to questions of protein engineering explored by Knaublach et al. Probing forisome material properties is therefore an immediate need to lay the foundation for synthesizing forisome-based smart materials for health monitoring of structural integrity in civil infrastructure and aerospace hardware. Here, we use microfluidics to study the surface interaction between forisome and substrate and the conformational dynamics of forisomes within a confined geometry to lay the foundation for forisome-based smart materials synthesis with controlled and repeatable environment.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Amy Shen, Benjamin Hamlington, Michael Knoblauch, Winfried Peters, and William Pickard "Forisome as biomimetic smart materials", Proc. SPIE 5765, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, (17 May 2005);


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