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Issue 17, 2014
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From nature to synthetic systems: shape transformation in soft materials

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Abstract

Nature offers a plethora of astonishing examples of shapes and functions from the aspects of both simplicity and complexity. The creation of synthetic systems that can morph in a controlled manner as seen in nature is of paramount importance in many fields of fundamental and applied sciences. The tremendous interest in self-shaping materials stems from a wide range of applications for these materials, ranging from biomedical devices to aircraft design. This review article highlights recent advances in understanding and designing thin, sheet-like soft materials that can transform into complex three-dimensional structures in a controlled manner by modulating the internal stresses. We review the general principles underlying shape transformation phenomena in natural and synthetic systems, and the significant achievements in fabricating self-shaping of soft materials via representative examples. We conclude with a discussion on the challenges facing the field, and future directions from the perspective of theoretical and experimental methodology and interdisciplinary applications.

Graphical abstract: From nature to synthetic systems: shape transformation in soft materials

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Oct 2013, accepted on 16 Jan 2014 and first published on 17 Jan 2014


Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21462A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014,2, 2357-2368
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    From nature to synthetic systems: shape transformation in soft materials

    R. Kempaiah and Z. Nie, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014, 2, 2357
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21462A

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