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Mechanical Engineering Seminars - Ionic Polymer Conductor Nano-Composites as Distributed Nanosensors, Nanoactuators and Artificial Muscles

Mohsen Shahinpoor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469

In this presentation a summary of the fundamental properties and characteristics of Ionic Polymeric-Conductor (Metal) Nano Composites (IPCNC’s and IPMNC’s) as distributed biomimetic nanosensors, nanoactuators, nanotransducers and artificial muscles will be first presented. This summary will include descriptions of the basic materials’ molecular structure, sulfonyl fluoride vinyl ether (SFVE) copolymerization with tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) to form the basic material resin and subsequent hydrolysis to manufacture the basic material for chemical plating and electroactivation. Further described are chemical molecular plating technologies to make IPCNC’s and IPMNC’s, nanotechnologies of manufacturing and trapping of nanoparticles, SEM, TEM, SPM and AFM characterization of IPCNC’s and IPMNC’s, biomimetic sensing and actuation characterization techniques, electrical characterization and equivalent circuit modeling of IPCNC’s as electronic materials, and manufacturing of 3-D artificial muscles from IPCNC’s and IPMNC’s. A phenomenological model of the underlying sensing and actuation mechanisms in IPMNC’s is next discussed. This modeling is based on linear irreversible thermodynamics with two driving forces, an electric field and a solvent pressure gradient and two fluxes, electric current density and the solvent ionic flux. Finally, a number of potential medical and industrial applications of ionic polymeric-metal nano composites (IPMNC’s) as distributed biomimetic nanosensors, nanoactuators and artificial muscles is presented. In particular, the applications of ionic polymeric artificial muscles in connection with cardiovascular assist systems, endovascular surgery, bionic vision and dynamic correction of refractive errors of the human eye, isolation and manipulation of cells for cell therapy as well as a micropump for glaucoma, hydrocephalus and drug delivery systems will be discussed. This presentation includes a number of videos and is followed by live demos of artificial muscles in action.


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