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Sci Adv. 2018 Sep 14;4(9):eaat8313. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8313. eCollection 2018 Sep.

Mechanically active materials in three-dimensional mesostructures.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
2
Simpson Querrey Institute and Feinberg Medical School, Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
3
Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
4
Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK.
5
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
6
Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
7
State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049, China.
8
Center for Mechanics and Materials, Center for Flexible Electronics Technology, and Applied Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
9
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Neurological Surgery, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

Abstract

Complex, three-dimensional (3D) mesostructures that incorporate advanced, mechanically active materials are of broad, growing interest for their potential use in many emerging systems. The technology implications range from precision-sensing microelectromechanical systems, to tissue scaffolds that exploit the principles of mechanobiology, to mechanical energy harvesters that support broad bandwidth operation. The work presented here introduces strategies in guided assembly and heterogeneous materials integration as routes to complex, 3D microscale mechanical frameworks that incorporate multiple, independently addressable piezoelectric thin-film actuators for vibratory excitation and precise control. The approach combines transfer printing as a scheme for materials integration with structural buckling as a means for 2D-to-3D geometric transformation, for designs that range from simple, symmetric layouts to complex, hierarchical configurations, on planar or curvilinear surfaces. Systematic experimental and computational studies reveal the underlying characteristics and capabilities, including selective excitation of targeted vibrational modes for simultaneous measurements of viscosity and density of surrounding fluids. The results serve as the foundations for unusual classes of mechanically active 3D mesostructures with unique functions relevant to biosensing, mechanobiology, energy harvesting, and others.

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