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Rapid moisture-responsive silk fibroin actuators
G. Manikandan, A. Murali, R. Kumar,
Published in American Chemical Society
2021
PMID: 33576225
Volume: 13
   
Issue: 7
Pages: 8880 - 8888
Abstract
We report the unique actuation characteristics of moisture-driven, fully reversible soft biopolymer films fabricated from Bombyx mori silk. The instantaneous actuation is driven by the water vapor induced stress gradient generated across the thickness of the film, and it possesses subsecond response and actuation times. The excellent durability and consistent performance of the film without any noticeable fatigue are established by subjecting it to more than a thousand continuous actuation cycles. The weight-lifting capability of the film is fascinating, where a few tens of micrograms of water generate a colossal force required to lift hundreds of milligrams of weight. Several other potential uses of silk fibroin based soft actuators, such as an intelligent textile layer with the crescent-shaped windows that open on perspiring skin and an autonomous crawler, are also demonstrated. Interestingly, even moisture emanating from the human palm triggers the ultrafast actuation process. These silk films are fabricated using a simple facile solution-casting technique, which can be scaled up with relative ease. © 2021 American Chemical Society
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
PublisherData powered by TypesetAmerican Chemical Society
ISSN19448244