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Faculty of Engineering Science

Biofabrication – Prof. Dr. Leonid Ionov

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Stimuli-responsive and shape-changing hydrogels

Actuators are materials and devices, which are able to change their shape in response to change of environmental conditions (pH, T, UV, humidity) and, thus, perform mechanical work on nano, micro and marcoscales. Actuators find very broad application in microfabrication, microelectronics, medicine, lab-on-chip systems, etc. Because of their complexity, development of actuators includes both material and engineering aspects. There are plenty of examples of actuators based on metals, metal oxides and organic materials such as shape memory metals and polymers, bimetal strings, hydrogels etc. Among huge variety of different actuator materials polymer-based ones are highly attractive due to a spectrum of different properties of polymers. The polymers can be soft (viscoelastic state) and hard (glassy state) depending on their chemical and physical structure that allows the design of soft actuators for handling of soft living tissues and hard actuators for handling of metals. There are many polymers sensitive to different stimuli that allows design of actuators, which can be controlled by temperature, pH, biosignals, light, humidity, etc. Many polymers are biocompatible and biodegradable that allows integration of polymeric actuators in living systems and their resorption there.

We aim at the  engineering of functional polymer thin films and fibers, which are able to reversibly fold and to form different 3D objects in response to change of environmental conditions. The primary goal is to use this approach for  encapsulation of cells, design of scaffolds for tissue engineering, design of smart textiles and other.


Selected publications 

Stoychev, Georgi; Reuther, Cordula; Diez, Stefan; Ionov, Leonid
Controlled Retention and Release of Biomolecular Transport Systems Using Shape-Changing Polymer Bilayers
in Angewandte Chemie International Edition vol. 55 (2016) issue 52. - pp. 16106-16109
doi:10.1002/anie.201608299 ...

Stoychev, Georgi; Guiducci, Lorenzo; Turcaud, Sébastien; Dunlop, John W. C.; Ionov, Leonid
Hole-Programmed Superfast Multistep Folding of Hydrogel Bilayers
in Advanced Functional Materials vol. 26 (2016) issue 42. - pp. 7733-7739
doi:10.1002/adfm.201602394 ...

Stroganov, Vladislav; Al-Hussein, Mahmoud; Sommer, Jens-Uwe; Janke, Andreas; Zakharchenko, Svetlana; Ionov, Leonid
Reversible Thermosensitive Biodegradable Polymeric Actuators Based on Confined Crystallization
in Nano Letters vol. 15 (2015) issue 3. - pp. 1786-1790
doi:10.1021/nl5045023 ...

Ionov, Leonid
Hydrogel-based actuators : possibilities and limitations
in Materials Today vol. 17 (2014) issue 10. - pp. 494-503
doi:10.1016/j.mattod.2014.07.002 ...

Magdanz, Veronika; Stoychev, Georgi; Ionov, Leonid; Sanchez, Samuel; Schmidt, Oliver G.
Stimuli-Responsive Microjets with Reconfigurable Shape
in Angewandte Chemie International Edition vol. 53 (2014) issue 10. - pp. 2673-2677
doi:10.1002/anie.201308610 ...

Stoychev, Georgi; Turcaud, Sébastien; Dunlop, John W. C.; Ionov, Leonid
Hierarchical Multi-Step Folding of Polymer Bilayers
in Advanced Functional Materials vol. 23 (2013) issue 18. - pp. 2295-2300
doi:10.1002/adfm.201203245 ...

Stoychev, Georgi; Zakharchenko, Svetlana; Turcaud, Sébastien; Dunlop, John W. C.; Ionov, Leonid
Shape-Programmed Folding of Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Bilayers
in ACS Nano vol. 6 (2012) issue 5. - pp. 3925-3934
doi:10.1021/nn300079f ...


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