The Ionov group seeks to utilize biologically inspired strategies to develop new functional and active 3-dimentional (bio-)materials based on actuating polymers for soft robotics, smart textiles, soft electronics, energy storage materials, and tissue engineering as well as for a variety of other scientific and industrial applications. Please see below for a description of our active research directions.
Stimuli-responsive and shape-changing hydrogels
Inspired by an actuation in nature (e.g. cone, flowers – Venus flytrap or Mimose) we are developing synthetic 3-dimensional actuated origami-inspired transformable materials. Synthetic strategies, fundamental understanding of mechanism of folding behavior and programmable design of 3D materials are in the focus of this project. more
Semicrystalline shape-changing polymers
We develop reversible shape-changing materials, which, in contrast to hydrogels, are capable of actuation in any environment (dry and wet). These materials are based on semicrystalline polymers, which change their shape upon melting and crystallization. more
We develop and investigate new methods for fabrication of fibers with advanced properties.
We develop new polymer-based microfabrication technologies and materials for these technologies. Our research fills the gap between engineering aiming at fabrication of devices and chemistry aiming at developing new methods for synthesis. more
Additive microfabrication (3D printing)
We develop new approaches for additive manufacturing using solid polymers, hydrogels and fibers.
We are developing methods for 3D printing of active polymers that allows introduction of additional dimension (time). We use 4D printing for design in biomaterial science and fabrication of smart textiles. more
We are developing novel hydrogels and patterned polymeric materials for the encapsulation of cells, tissue engineering and use in regenerative medicine and general surgery. more
Active polymeric fibres and smart textiles
We are developing novel strategies for controlling of structure-dynamical properties of polymers and programmed design of shape changing polymeric fibres for smart textiles. more
Energy storage materials / soft electronics
Development of methods for storage of electrical energy has become highly important in recent time. Our interest is in the designing of new porous materials, polymer electrolytes and separators for Li-S batteries. more