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 polymers
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
Shape-changing semicrystalline 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
4D biofabrication and bioprinting
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
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
Flexible electronics and biosensors
Conductive materials / soft electronics / sensors
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
Viscoelastic materials for flexible electronics
We develop self-healing materials with viscoelastic properties for soft wearable electronics and biosensors.